Levels of Care

In the past, when you or a family member went to the hospital, you were automatically put in at the "Acute Care" level, as that was the only level of care there was. This is no longer true. Currently we have nine levels of care. 

Acute Care

This level of care is when a patient is acutely ill or has undergone major surgery. This is the most common level of care, and length of stay is determined by illness and physician. (Inpatient hospital care is covered by Medicare Part A, or by private insurance.)

Outpatient - Short Stay

Examples of this would be blood transfusions, antibiotic or medication therapy (intravenous or intramuscular), or chemotherapy. A stay could be from a few minutes to a few hours depending on the type of service needed. You will be provided a private, comfortable room and bathroom, with tv or dvd player, and refreshments are available.  Our staff works closely with each patient and their physician to ensure safe, high quality care.  Services provided during Outpatient - Short Stay are covered under Medicare Part B, or by private insurance.

Outpatient Observation

A patient seen either at the Emergency Department or a physician's office with a potentially serious problem may not meet the criteria for Acute Care. The physician may feel the patient may be ready to go home within a day if under medical care and therefore, will admit to the hospital as an Outpatient to monitor condition more closely to determine the next steps in care, such as admission to the hospital at a different level, home care, or other treatment options. (Services used during Outpatient Observation are covered by Medicare Part B, or by private insurance.)

Medicare does not cover drugs that can be self-administered in the Outpatient Observation setting. A patient would need to bring their own medication in the labeled bottles from the pharmacy. This is actually a very good idea no matter what level of care, so the physician knows exactly what medications are currently being taken.

Outpatient Diagnostic Tests

This consists of coming for blood tests, x-rays, EKG, or any other test done for diagnostic or routine care. Patients must register at the Admissions office before reporting to the appropriate department for the test as ordered by the physician. (These services are usually covered by Medicare Part B, or by private insurance.)

Outpatient Specialty Clinics

FCMC is fortunate to have many specialty clinics and services available on a weekly, bi-weekly, or daily basis. (These clinics are usually covered by Medicare Part B, or by private insurance.) Some of these services include:

  • Audiology
  • Cardiology
  • Chemotherapy
  • Diabetes Education
  • Ear, Nose, & Throat (ENT)
  • Endocrinology
  • Enterostomal (Wound Care)
  • Gastroenterology
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Ophthalmology
  • Orthopedic
  • Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
  • Physical Therapy
  • Podiatry
  • Psychology
  • Respiratory Therapy
  • Speech Therapy
  • Urology


Same-Day Surgery

Many minor surgeries are done on this level of care. Sometimes these surgeries are done late in the day so a patient may stay overnight. Usually the stay does not exceed 24 hours, with an average of 4 - 6 hours. (Same-day Surgery is usually covered by Medicare Part B, or by private insurance.)

Swing Bed or Skilled Care:

The Swing Bed Program provides a unique opportunity for physicians to maintain continuity of care for their patients who may require extended care following an acute illness and hospitalization. It allows more time for the patient to fully recuperate in order to be able to go directly home from the hospital whenever possible.

Some examples of Skilled Care would be speech therapy, physical therapy, rehabilitation following a heart attack, joint replacement, stroke, sterile dressing changes, and tube feeding. However, there is certain criteria in each of these categories that determines whether or not a patient qualifies for Skilled Care.

The length of an Acute Care stay will also determine eligibility for Skilled Care and the length of stay on Skilled Care is determined by a patient's progress. FCMC also accepts Swing Bed patients following a qualifying Acute Care stay at another hospital. (Swing Bed is usually covered by Medicare Part A, or by private insurance.)

Convenience Care

Realizing that situations in health care today are changing, Convenience Care has been developed for our patients to meet their needs. The Convenience Care program at FCMC was established to accommodate each unique person and situation. The cornerstone of the program is its emphasis on independence, self-care, and the opportunity to nurture skills in preparation for returning to familiar surroundings. FCMS will provide the room, bed, linen, and housekeeping services. Medications and personal care items should be brought from home. Meals are provided.

Convenience Care is not covered by Medicare or by other insurance companies. Patients are responsible for all costs incurred while staying in the hospital. Credit cards are accepted. FCMC requires a physician's referral to this program. A physician's order is also needed for discharge. Physicians may have additional charges to cover the cost of a History & Physical at the time of admission to the program. The length of stay cannot exceed two weeks.


Terminally ill patients who are on the Hospice benefit are eligible for care on this level. There are three levels of hospice care: Hospice Acute, Respite, or Swing Bed. The level of hospice care is determined by the physician, the hospice team, the patient and their family, and insurance requirements. Generally, the patient stays in a two-room hospice suite, however, each case is looked at to best suit the needs of the patient and their families.

View Web Nursery Send A Greeting To A Patient

I want to send my highest appreciation to the beyond wonderful nurse who did bloodwork on me this morning. I have never had a positive blood drawing experience in my life, but this woman was truly amazing. I hope to see her again and definitely hope she is at FCMC for years to come. Her professionalism, patience, confidence, and attitude make her stand out from so many. -Kristin H

Floyd County Medical Center

800 11th Street

Charles City, Iowa 50616

Phone: 641-228-6830