Recovering in your own backyard

September 1, 2016

Dick Swart
Dick Swart

Dick Swart moved to the Columbia Gorge from Minnesota in 1992. Always a relatively healthy person, Dick found himself with a series of setbacks over the last few years. He needed several surgeries including two hip replacements, a knee replacement and a lumbar spinal clean-up.

That Dick is back home and engaging in his favorite activities again is in part thanks to the help he received through the Transitional Care – or Swing Bed – Program at Skyline Hospital. He had his surgeries in larger Portland hospitals, but when the time came for him to be discharged, he was far from ready to return home.

“You’re OK from the surgery itself, but you still have weeks of healing and rehab therapy ahead of you in a hospital care facility,” he said. “This is when Skyline Hospital’s Transitional care Program came in.”

It’s a program that allows smaller, rural hospitals to open up their beds to provide skilled nursing care to patients like Dick who no longer qualify as in-patients but aren’t quite ready to return home. This is due to needing services such as physical or occupational therapy, wound care, and IV or respiratory therapies, as the program treats those who have suffered from strokes, heart disease, joint replacements and more. Often, it means these patients can get the care they need closer to home — and for Dick, the Skyline program was a very attractive choice.

“It made me feel good to heal at Skyline,” Dick said. “I was a 10 minute drive away from friends and family, and the care I received at Skyline was phenomenal. I don’t think I could have received better care anywhere.”

During the past year, Skyline staff has been implementing new processes, and most patients receiving care will be covered by Medicare’s SNF (Swing Bed) reimbursement program, although other insurers may participate as well.

Click here to learn more about Skyline Hospital’s Transitional Care Program. (Tim Pfarr)


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