Access to Care and Serving the Underserved
The Aspen to Parachute Dental Health Alliance was founded to champion access to dental care for all with a focus on the underserved. The Dental Health Alliance board continues to focus on serving all with an emphasis on serving the underserved. Oral Health in America: A Report of the Surgeon General, (May 2000) imparted a message that oral health is essential to general health and well-being and can be achieved. This report detailed three important goals for communities: to promote oral health, to improve quality of life, and to eliminate oral health disparities.
In our region access to oral health for the underserved has improved with the addition of Mountain Family Health Center’s Dental Clinic in Rifle; however, access continues to be an issue as shown by the following report that demonstrates access to dental care is still a prominent issue in our region.
The Colorado Health Institute’s December 2013 report, “More Dental Insurance: Enough Dental Care? A Supply and Demand Analysis of Colorado’s Medicaid Program” clearly shows that the current number of Medicaid dental providers is lacking. Two health policy decisions in 2013 resulted in statewide increase of individuals with Medicaid dental benefits. Legislators decided to add dental benefits for adults enrolled in Medicaid and the number of people eligible increased with higher income limits in place. Click here to read the full story.