Merit Health seeking license for swing bed service from MSDH

Published 10:03 am Wednesday, November 17, 2021

NATCHEZ — Merit Health Natchez has applied for permanent state licensing to offer swing bed service to patients.

Director of Marketing Kay Ketchings said the term “swing bed” refers to an acute care hospital room that can be “swung” from an acute care hospital bed to an extended care bed such as those offered at nursing homes or other long-term care facilities. This service enables the patient to transition from acute care to short term rehabilitation care without leaving the hospital.

“Adding this valuable service at our hospital is one more way we can help patients receive the care they need close to home, as well as allowing the patient to stay in one place without having to move between hospitals or other facilities,” Ketchings said.

Ketchings said Merit Health Natchez received a temporary license to offer swing bed service in March and is now seeking a permanent license through the Mississippi State Department of Health.

To do so, the hospital had to submit a “Certificate of Need,” as is required by the state.

Legal notice of their request was posted by MSDH on Monday. The state allows until Nov. 29 for those affected by the proposal to request a public hearing, after which time their license can be approved.