Provision of Skilled Nursing in Rural America: Skilled Nursing Facilities and Swing Beds

Research center:
Lead researcher:
Project funded:
September 2016
Project completed:
December 2017

Swing beds and skilled nursing facilities provide critical skilled nursing services in rural areas, which are often lacking appropriate options for long-term care. While swing beds are important sources of care for rural residents, and increasingly essential sources of revenue for critical access hospitals, we have little up-to-date information on characteristics of swing beds, swing bed providers, swing bed residents, and how swing beds compare to skilled nursing facilities in terms of location, care provision, and case mix. The proposed study will allow researchers and policy makers to understand the nature of swing bed and skilled nursing facility care provision in rural areas, and the potential benefits of swing beds to rural communities. Flex Monitoring Team Data, Medicare Cost Reports, Nursing Home Compare, Hospital Compare, and Area Health Resource File datasets will be used.


  • Post-Acute Skilled Nursing Care Availability in Rural United States
    Policy Brief
    Southwest Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 07/2020
    This policy brief explores factors related to variations in the availability of post-acute skilled nursing care in rural areas in the U.S. The focus of this analysis is on swing bed program hospitals and skilled nursing facility post-acute skilled nursing care.