Everything You Need to Know About

Changes to our Long-term Care

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Always with Heart

Forks Community Hospital (FCH) has an extensive history of providing excellent long-term care to our West End community, and we’ve been eager to share the changes we’ve undergone in our inpatient programs that allow us to continue doing what we do best in the future―care when it counts and always with heart.

The modifications to inpatient services, at FCH, including the long-term care area of the facility, were made in compliance with regulations that allow Critical Access Hospitals like ours to provide care within the hospital, with the number of beds we are allowed and beyond a short stay from an illness, injury or a patient who may require further observation and skilled nursing care for a day or two. 

Sarah Fletcher

RN Clinical Case Manager

Levels of Care

Beginning July 1, 2024, FCH “long-term care” changes to “Levels of Care,” and this includes inpatient stays for patients whose medical need qualifies for an extended period utilizing a “swing bed,” a term that only relates to the method of payment FCH can receive for this level of care.

Watch the Informational Video Series Below

To help explain each Level of Care provided at FCH, Sarah Fletcher, RN Clinical Case Manager has recorded a series of informational videos that are sure to answer any questions you have. You can watch each video on demand, and we encourage you to share it with your friends, families and others you think need to know about these changes too.


1. Long Term Care Conversion at Forks Community Hospital

Sarah Fletcher, RN at Forks Community Hospital, discusses long-term care conversion and its community impact.


2. What Has Changed About Long-term Care

Sarah Fletcher explains the four levels of care at Forks Community Hospital, including changes in long-term care admissions.


3. Understanding When "Observation" is Needed

An observation admission generally lasts 48 hours or less because the care team anticipates the patient’s medical needs can be met at FCH.

The Second Level of Care

4. Understanding When a Longer Inpatient Stay is Necessary

An inpatient admission is typically a stay of four days or less. The intention with an inpatient admission is to treat the patient’s illness until they are stable enough to continue care in an outpatient setting or return home.


5. Understanding the “Swing Bed” Program and How it Works

As a Critical Access Hospital, FCH can utilize a portion of its beds for patients who require skilled nursing care beyond their inpatient stay. Using hospital beds in this way is called “swing beds.”


6. Understanding ‘Non-skilled’ Swing Bed Care and Who is Eligible for this Level of Care

Non-skilled swing bed is a lower level of care than a swing bed that is utilized when a patient no longer has a skilled need. This level of care still requires the patient have had a three-day inpatient stay that met medical necessity.  


Still Have Questions?

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Download the Information Guide

Want to have the information you need about Forks Community Hospital’s Levels of Inpatient Care? We’ve created a document that explains it all. 

Download Now and Share with Others.

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