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Pagosa Springs, Colorado Receives $1.7 Million from CMS for Health Care Innovation Challenge

The Upper San Juan Health Service District (USJHSD) in Pagosa Springs, Colorado was the recipient of one of the first batch of Health Care Innovation Challenge awards announced by the Center for Medicaid & Medicare (CMS) Innovation Center. The Health Care Innovation Challenge was designed by CMS to rapidly enhance programs focused on addressing the Triple Aim goals of improving health, improving health care quality, and reducing costs for Medicare, Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) enrollees.

USJHSD's three year, $1.7 million award will allow them to expand access to specialists and improve the quality of acute care in rural and remote areas of southwestern Colorado. Their enhanced care delivery model will offer cardiovascular early detection and wellness programs, implement a telemedicine acute stroke care program, use telemedicine and remote diagnostics for cardiologist consultations, and upgrade and retrain its Emergency Medical Services Division (EMS) to manage urgent care transports and in-home follow-up patient care for over 3400 patients in medically underserved areas in southwest Colorado. The program will provide access to cardiologists and neurologists and is expected to reduce cardiovascular risk, improve patient outcomes, create healthier communities, and reduce health care costs with estimated savings of approximately $8.1 million. Over the three-year period, the Upper San Juan Health Service District’s program will train an estimated 25 paramedics and telehealth clinicians and create 13 new jobs. These workers will provide a new type of clinical team that will improve care outcomes for rural cardiovascular patients.

Click here for a list of other awardees and more information on the CMS Innovation Challenge.