Partnership-Driven Special Innovation Projects Awarded by Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Quality Improvement Organizations (QIO) Program

Colorado Rural Health Center (CRHC) partnered with Telligen – the project award recipient – to explore the adaptation of C-TraC to reduce readmissions in rural Colorado hospitals.

Denver, Colo – Last November the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) QIO Program awarded 16 two-year Special Innovation Projects (SIPs) to 10 regional Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organizations (QIN-QIOs).

Around $10 million was awarded to quality improvement projects that aligned with the goals of the CMS Quality Strategy, and which also demonstrated scientific rigor, strong analytic framework and intervention based on supporting evidence.

In Colorado, a partnership between Telligen and the Colorado Rural Health Center was awarded to investigate innovations that advance local efforts for better care at lower costs. Specifically, the project will focus on exploring the adaptation of a telephonic, evidenced-based model, C-TraC, to reduce 30-day readmissions and improve care transitions for use by rural hospitals in Colorado.

The primary goals of the project are to maintain or improve the low readmission rates achieved by Colorado rural hospitals through incorporation of the C-TraC model; study rural hospital adaptations of the model and develop a rural-context-sensitive implementation package; and establish a framework for guiding adaptations of evidence-based models for rural providers.

CRHC was identified as a partner in its roles as the State Office of Rural Health and through the work of its Improving Communications and Readmissions (iCARE) program and the strong ties to the project goals. The iCARE program allows Colorado’s rural providers the opportunity to participate in a statewide initiative while at the same time offering tools, resources, and technical assistance to implement the changes they would like to see in their facilities and communities.

The aim of this project is to engage CAHs and RHCs in a statewide initiative focusing on three primary goals, to improve communication in transitions of care; maintain low readmission rates; and improve clinical processes contributing to readmissions.

C-TraC was developed by the University of Wisconsin, Madison Department of Medicine, Division of Geriatrics and Gerontology. The University of Wisconsin has partnered with Telligen and CRHC on this project, given their expertise and successful launch of C-TraC at a number of hospitals.

For more information about the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) QIO Program, visit

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