COVID-19 Blanket Swing Bed Waiver for Addressing Barriers to Nursing Home Placement for Hospitalized Individuals

Published 05/22/2020

Under the COVID-19 PHE blanket waiver, all Medicare enrolled hospitals (except psychiatric and long term care hospitals) that need to provide post-hospital SNF level swing-bed services for non-acute care patients in hospitals can apply for swing bed approval to provide these services, so long as the waiver is not inconsistent with the state’s emergency preparedness or pandemic plan. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has waived the requirements at 42 CFR 482.58 to allow hospitals to establish SNF swing beds payable under the SNF Prospective Payment System (PPS) to provide additional options for hospitals with patients who no longer require acute care but are unable to find placement in a SNF. This MLN Matters Special Edition article provides answers to the key questions hospitals may have as they pursue this option for treating their patients.