Governor signs Booher bill to help extended care patients in rural areas

LANSING—Sen. Darwin Booher, R-Evart, was joined by local and statewide health care leaders as Gov. Rick Snyder signed his legislation on Thursday to ensure that extended care patients in hospital swing beds will not be required to move mid-stay.

Rural hospitals can provide extended care services through the use of “swing beds” if a nursing home bed is not available. Swing beds are hospital beds used for services that otherwise would be provided in a nursing home.

Booher’s bill, now Public Act 165 of 2014, clarifies state law by stipulating that the nursing home bed must be available at the time a patient requires admission for extended care services. 

“Swing beds at rural hospitals are helping us meet the extended care needs of all patients, yet efforts to curb abuse of this service are having unintended consequences,” Booher said.  “Hospitals were required to transfer a patient to a nursing home bed after he or she has already been admitted into a swing bed – creating confusion for patients and families who do not understand why they have to move. This new law will help clear up the confusion and ensure decisions on where to place patients are based on their needs.”


Editor’s Note: A print-quality photograph is available by visiting the senator’s website at: Click on “Photowire” under the Media Center tab.