South Routt Medical Center welcomes new dentist
Oak Creek — South Routt Medical Center has hired a new dentist to help revitalize a program that has struggled since losing its last dentist in March.
The center is partnering with Northwest Colorado Health to generate more referrals for the program and, potentially, take advantage of grant funding the public health organization hopes to secure to support low-cost dental care across the region, as well as other resources.
Newly hired dentist Dr. Randy Hurley has moved to Routt County from Arizona to accept the position, bringing with him two additional dental chairs and more equipment to bolster the program.
“We’ll be able to not only restart the program, but expand it a bit,” said Ken Rogers, South Routt Medical Health Services District manager.
The partnership with Northwest Colorado Health has helped to improve the comfort level of the district’s board of directors, who had questioned the financial stability of having a dental program.
A majority of the program’s patients have been individuals on Medicaid, which has a low reimbursement rate for providers and which most other local dental providers refuse to accept. Northwest Colorado Health can help the center receive better reimbursement rates due to its access to federal funding.
Northwest Colorado Health CEO Lisa Brown said the organization is excited to align its own dental program with that of South Routt Medical Center.
Currently, the organization employs one dental hygienist— who travels between Steamboat Springs and Craig — and has plans to hire a second, but when the hygienists need to refer a patient to a dentist who accepts Medicaid, options become scarce.
“We’re working on aligning our work so we’re not duplicating anything, and we’re playing to our strengths,” Brown said. “We’re committed to see how much we can do in South Routt and then seeing how much further we might be able to expand in the next year or so.”
Brown said Northwest Colorado Health has two pending applicants for significant grants that would help support low-cost dental services throughout the region, including in South Routt.
Hurley is expected to begin taking new dental patients as early as the first week in December.
While the center accepts Medicaid, it also welcomes patients on other insurance plans and those paying cash.
Initially, the dental portion of the medical center is expected to operate on Mondays and Tuesdays, then work on building out the schedule based on need.
The dental staff can be contacted at 970-736-1070.
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