Marillac Clinic expands services to Medicaid patients in Mesa County | PostIndependent.com

Marillac Clinic expands services to Medicaid patients in Mesa County

Caitlin Row
crow@gjfreepress.com

YOU MAY USE MARILLAC CLINIC IF YOU FALL INTO THE FOLLOWING CATEGORIES:

Uninsured – patient has no insurance (self pay)

Medicaid – Medicaid expansion now covers individuals 0-135% of federal poverty level

Rocky Mtn Health Plans (commercial insurance)

Medicare - Marillac was just approved and will begin accepting Medicare in the near future

On dental side, Marillac Clinic also accepts:

Delta Dental Insurance

Uninsured / Self Pay

CHP +

Medicaid (adults and children)

Medicare eligble patients ( Medicare does not have a dental benefit so many may be self pay or if they have Medicaid too – Medicaid covers dental now for adults

Vets (many VA recipients do not have a dental benefit so they would be on sliding scale as self pay.) VA is piloting a new commercial plan that Vets can purchase – Met Life.

SOURCE: Marillac Clinic

Mesa County’s Marillac Clinic is on the cusp of great expansion.

Due in part to a $1.1 million grant awarded to Mesa County Health Department by the Colorado Health Foundation in 2013, Marillac Clinic is broadening its scope of patients it can service. Clinic doctors and staff can now treat patients with Medicaid, which is vastly different than Marillac’s treatment scope in the past — to treat only those without insurance or those who are underinsured.

“We’re changing our model fundamentally from a safety net clinic to a federally qualified health center,” said Kay Ramachandran, Marillac Clinic’s executive director. “Literally thousands of people have Medicaid that didn’t before locally. It’s a good thing for us.”

According to Kristy Schmidt, Marillac Clinic’s community and donor relations director, the recently adopted Affordable Care Act created a significant increase in people across the nation — and locally — who now qualify for Medicaid coverage.

“We’re already serving thousands of uninsured [in Mesa County],” Schmidt said. “With the additional need for Medicaid, it led to partnerships and the addition of another primary clinic location.”

On Monday, Feb. 2, Marillac Clinic moved into a renovated space on Mesa County Heath Department’s campus — 510 29 ½ Road. This is on top of its primary location near St. Mary’s Hospital at 2333 N. Sixth St.

“It’s open,” Schmidt said. “We’re getting established there and we’re starting to see patients.”

A more formal opening celebration will be hosted in the next few weeks in conjunction with the Health Department.

Palisade’s satellite location will remain closed for now, as Marillac’s staff determines need. With the new central location at the health department, key players predict that most patients within the Palisade-to-Clifton region will have easy access there.

“This will be a good location for them,” Schmidt said. “It will hopefully be easier and more convenient.”

Integrated medical, optical and dental services will be provided at both Marillac locations, with nine exam rooms and two dental operatory rooms opening at the new location.

“Mesa County Health Department’s partnership with Marillac allows for full primary care services in our building, which encompasses the Mesa County Health Department, Mesa County Department of Human Services and the Mesa County Workforce Center,” said Jeff Kuhr, executive director of Mesa County Health Department. “This allows us to easily cross refer or refer out. It makes us more of a one-stop shop for the community.”

Another change for Marillac Clinic may be in the pipeline as well.

“Marillac has applied for Federally Qualified Health Center status,” Kuhr explained. “If that’s granted, it will enhance what we have to offer for Medicaid clients in Mesa County. With Marillac in our clinic, it has already expanded our capacity for serving patients on Medicaid and those who are uninsured or underinsured to about 17,000 patients. That doesn’t completely address the need, but it’s better. We will always continue to look for ways to expand our capacity.”

And Schmidt agreed with that sentiment, saying: “We’ve been operating in Mesa County for 27 years now. We’re embedded in this community, and as a health clinic we’re here to service our community. That’s our priority.”

To provide an expanded level of service, Marillac Clinic is actively recruiting physicians and medical staff to fill a variety of newly created positions.

“This is a huge leap,” Ramachandran said. “We can only do it if we have the providers. It’s very challenging right now because there’s such a shortage for primary care physicians across the country.”

If an average patient visit costs the clinic $200, and the average co-pay for an uninsured patient is $20; and an average Medicaid reimbursement is approximately $50; Marillac must find the rest. That’s why Marillac Clinic is also seeking alternative funding sources — like grants, fundraising and state programs — to cover rising patient costs.

For more information about Marillac Clinic, visit http://www.marillacclinic.org/en or call 970-298-1782.


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