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Mastering CMS CAH Swing Bed Requirements: Comprehensive Guidelines and Best Practices for Critical Access Hospitals

By - Laura A. Dixon, BS, JD, RN, CPHRM

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Swing Beds can be a financial lifeline for Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs). This webinar focuses on the swing bed regulations in Appendix W for CAHs. Interpretive guidelines and survey procedures are detailed under Appendix PP – Long Term Care manual, which will be discussed within the corresponding regulation sections. This webinar aims to help hospitals understand the necessary actions to comply with these guidelines, despite the lack of a crosswalk between Appendix W and Appendix PP. Common deficiencies and how to avoid them will also be covered.


  • Discuss the requirements for admitting a patient to Swing Bed status.
  • Recall how to locate the regulation, interpretive guidelines, and survey procedures for swing beds.
  • Describe the CMS requirements for resident assessment and care planning.
  • Recall CMS requirements for emergency dental care for swing bed patients.


Manual and Introduction to CAH CoPs

  • Introduction
  • How to Locate the Manual
  • Common Swing Bed Deficiencies
  • Special Requirements for CAH Providers of Long-Term Care Services (Swing beds)

Introduction to Swing Beds

  • Interpretive guidelines and survey procedure under Appendix PP
  • Eligibility
  • Payment
  • Healthcare Literacy
  • SNF Services
  • Patient/Resident Rights
    • Exercise of Rights
    • Notice of Rights and Services
    • Free Choice
    • Privacy and Confidentiality
    • Work
    • Mail
    • Access and Visitation Rights
    • Personal Property
    • Married Couples
  • Admission, Transfer, and Discharge Rights
    • Transfer and Discharge
    • Payment of Care
    • Content of Notice
  • Resident Behavior and Facility Practices
    • Restraints, Abuse
    • Staff Treatment of Residents
    • Hiring of Employees
  • Patient Activities
  • Social Services
  • Dental Requirements Change
  • Resident Assessment
    • Comprehensive Care Plans
    • PASARR or RAI
    • Trauma Informed Care
    • Discharge Summary
  • Nutrition
  • Appendix and Resources

Who Should Attend?

  • Nurse Executives
  • Accreditation and Compliance/Regulation Directors
  • Nurse Managers
  • Pharmacists
  • Quality Managers
  • Risk Managers
  • Health Information Management Personnel
  • Social Workers
  • Dieticians
  • Nurses
  • Nurse Educators
  • Nursing Supervisors
  • Patient Safety Officers
  • Directors of Rehab (OT, PT, Speech Pathology, and Audiology)
  • Infection Preventionists
  • Anyone responsible for the care of swing bed patients in a CAH
  • Persons responsible for implementing the CMS swing bed requirements

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Speaker Detail

Laura A. Dixon, BS, JD, RN, CPHRM

Laura A. Dixon recently served as the Regional Director of Risk Management and Patient Safety for Kaiser Permanente Colorado where she provided consultation and resources to clinical staff. Prior to joining Kaiser, she served as the Director, Facility Patient Safety and Risk Management and Operations for COPIC from 2014 to 2020. In her role, Ms. Dixon provided patient safety and risk management consultation and training to facilities, practitioners, and staff in multiple states. Such services included creation of and presentations on risk management topics, assessment of healthcare facilities; and development of programs and compilation of reference materials that complement physician-oriented products. Ms. Dixon has more than twenty years of clinical experience in acute care facilities, including critical care, coronary care, peri-operative services, and pain management. Prior to joining COPIC, she served as the Director, Western Region, Patient Safety and Risk Management for The Doctors Company, Napa, California. In this capacity, she provided patient safety and risk management consultation to the physicians and staff for the western United States. Ms. Dixon’s legal experience includes medical malpractice insurance defense and representation of nurses before the Colorado Board of Nursing. As a registered nurse and attorney, Laura holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Regis University, RECEP of Denver, a Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from Drake University College of Law, Des Moines, Iowa, and a Registered Nurse Diploma from Saint Luke’s School Professional Nursing, Cedar Rapids, Iowa. She is licensed to practice law in Colorado and California.

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