The American Health Care Association has awarded Wilton Meadows a Bronze Quality Award.

The Bronze Award is presented by the National Quality Award Program, and is centered on the core values and criteria of the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program, which is the foundation of a metric-based initiative.

Wilton Meadows Rehabilitation and Health Care Center is part of The Cannondale Campus which includes The Greens at Cannondale, an assisted living facility. “There is independent living, assisted living, skilled nursing and rehabilitation post hospitalization all on one campus,” said Ellen Casey, administrator at Wilton Meadows.

Casey said a number of things set Wilton Meadows apart from other facilities, earning it recognition from the American Health Care Association.

“Wilton Meadows is the only post-acute care provider in Wilton and has been privately owned since 1988 by the same independent owner,” she said.

The center boasts a number of quality care areas, with daily visits from physicians, nurse practitioners, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, and a licensed respiratory therapist. There is also inpatient and outpatient lymphedema therapy, and weekly visits by cardiologists and a wound physician.

Casey said Wilton Meadows also stands out for its excellent hospital readmission rate. “People who come to Wilton Meadows for rehabilitation after a hospitalization go home at a much higher rate and in a shorter amount of time than our peers,” she said.

The owner of Wilton Meadows takes pride in maintaining the building and grounds, Casey said, along with staffing, dining and programming at the center.

“I am so proud of each member of the highly skilled and caring team at Wilton Meadows — nurses, nursing assistants, respiratory therapy, rehabilitation services, dining services, housekeeping, laundry, maintenance and administrative staff are second to none and show a selfless commitment to providing the highest quality care to our residents, their families and one another,” she said.

Medicare changes

Changes to Medicare coverage are keenly observed at Wilton Meadows, according to Casey.

“I have worked in post-acute care my entire career. In my first job, I learned that the most important skill in health care is the ability to manage through change. This was a great lesson as there is nothing in health care as constant as change, she said.

With Medicare reimbursement ever-changing, she said, the commitment by Wilton Meadows to provide continuous quality improvement serves the center well.

“Medicare is incentivizing providers to care for patients in the most cost-efficient way. This translates into providing high quality rehab services efficiently and effectively and to provide the highest quality medical care to prevent people from returning to the hospital,” she said.

The average length of stay at Wilton Meadows is fewer than 20 days, she said. “We stand out for discharging a higher percentage of our patients back to independent living in their own home.”

pgay@wiltonbulletin.com