At Grand County Rural Health Network, we believe everyone has the right to healthcare and to understand how to access that care. 


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Grand Country Rural Health Network’s

A.C.H.E.S. & P.A.I.N.S. Healthcare Voucher Program

Celebrates Its 15th Anniversary 

A program that started as a “band-aid” continues to provide access to care for the uninsured children and adults in Grand & Jackson Counties


Hot Sulphur Springs, Colo. (Feb. 17, 2020) — The year 2020 marks the 15th Anniversary of Grand County Rural Health Network’s A.C.H.E.S. & P.A.I.N.S. Healthcare Voucher Program.

The children’s healthcare voucher program started when providers and community partners realized uninsured children were not learning in school because they had untreated medical and dental needs. This program started as a partnership with both school districts, Grand County Public Health, medical and dental providers, Grand County Rural Health Network (GCRHN) and other community partners. Nowadays, A.C.H.E.S. healthcare vouchers are available for uninsured children ages 0-17 who qualify financially. The services covered include preventative and acute dental needs, acute medical and well-child exams, mental health needs, prescriptions, and supportive services like gas vouchers to get to health appointments. The vouchers are accepted at any Grand County medical, dental, and mental health office. Additionally, Jackson County children and pregnant women have access to dental vouchers. 

In 2008, Grand County Rural Health Network saw a strong need for heath vouchers for adults, and the program was expanded to incorporate the P.A.I.N.S. program. These healthcare vouchers are available for uninsured adults ages who qualify financially and cover acute medical and mental health care as well as prescriptions and supportive services like gas vouchers to get to health appointments. The vouchers are accepted at any Grand County medical or mental health office. 

Executive director of GCRHN, Jen Fanning, reports, “The number of uninsured individuals in Grand County was at or near 27% and held steady for a long time before the ACA [Affordable Care Act] was implemented. It was expected that ACA would fix it all. We saw some dramatic decreases for children since there were more opportunities for public insurance for children. In 2015 the number of uninsured dropped significantly to 9%. However, in 2019 the uninsured rate 
is back up to 17% after the financial penalty was removed from the ACA. Additionally, we expect it to keep increasing with the high cost of health insurance resulting in a high need for vouchers.” The state-wide average of uninsured individuals in 2019 was 6.5%.

Both the A.C.H.E.S. & P.A.I.N.S. healthcare vouchers do not cover emergencies or injuries. 

Grand Country Rural Health Network is one of the only health networks in Colorado that offer a program like A.C.H.E.S. & P.A.I.N.S. vouchers. The reason being is that we do not have a community care clinic to assist those who are on Medicaid or are uninsured like other communities have for these individuals. According to Fanning, “In the past there has been some interest by local providers but then there was no funding or visa versa. And to start a community care clinic, we have to have both. The stars have just never aligned.”

A.C.H.E.S. & P.A.I.N.S is not a sustainable program; 100% of its funding comes from local sources. State-wide foundations will not support the program since the program is not a school-based or community clinic offering. According to Fanning, “It’s a stop gap, and was never intended to be a permanent solution. And here we are, 15 years later. GCRHN has been continuing to seek a long-term solution and has been re-engaging the schools and health centers for discussions. ”

Additionally, GCRHN received a grant last fall for integrated care vouchers which provides an individual a voucher that could be used for a combination of medical, mental health, and prescription services to treat the entire person dealing with mental health needs. Also, local efforts have been made to educate the community about the stigma of mental health. Fanning noted, “We provided 59 mental health vouchers to 27 individuals last year alone. We had only given out a total of 61 vouchers in the previous 4 years.That is a direct reflection of the change in public awareness and the need for these services in our communities.” 

To see if you qualify or for more information about the A.C.H.E.S. & P.A.I.N.S. program, contact your local provider, school nurse, or Grand County Rural Health Network.

Grand Country Rural Health Network’s office phone number is (970) 725-3477


GCRHN in the News

Seeing the Big Picture in Grand County

By Kristin Jones, The Colorado Trust


Jen Fanning is the Executive Director of the Grand County Rural Health Network.  The Network is part of a cohort of 18 health organizations across the state that are working together to advocate for health equity, with support from The Colorado Trust.  

Read more here to learn about Jen's work on health equity.


Access to mental health services remains top priority in health plan for Grand County

McKenna Harford, Sky-Hi News
January 26, 2019



Access to mental healthcare, housing and transportation are some of the county's top health priorities, according to the new Grand County Public Health Improvement Plan.

The county health improvement plan is a five-year guiding document that identifies health priorities, provides health data and gives actionable suggestions for the Grand County Public Health office and other local health organizations.

This year's health improvement plan identifies six priorities: access to mental health; housing; transportation; lack of social services; substance abuse; and preventative health.

For the full article, continue reading here






COUNTY RESOURCES


Grand County's online health resource guide!


Explore health resources here in Grand County. 

Because health is more than healthcare

Local resources and informative monthly blogs all on one site.

If you are a health provider located in Grand County, contact Christine at

970-725-3477 or at cwsmith@gcruralhealth.org for a complimentary directory listing.

 

Access to healthcare is important, but being truly healthy requires so much more! At Grand County Rural Health Network, we know that having stable housing is a key component to living a healthy, thriving life. A new report that studied housing in communities around the state of Colorado shows a direct connection between housing and health outcomes. You can read the executive summary from the report here.

 


Executive Offices
The Network is co-located with two other nonprofits / departments!

416 Byers Ave, P.O. Box 95, Hot Sulphur Springs, CO 80451
Office:  970-725-3477;  Fax:  970-725-3478