Steamboat-based occupational health program brings services to Craig
March 21, 2012
Medicare counselor available for consultations
True or false: Medicare covers all medical costs.
Many people would choose the former, local Medicare counselor Betsy Packer said.
In reality, though, it covers only about 80 percent of a patient’s health expenses, said Packer, who works with the Routt County Council on Aging.
“Medicare is a help, but it’s not a 100-percent thing,” she said. “And it’s very confusing.”
Packer also is with the State Health Insurance Assistance Program, which “offers one-on-one counseling and assistance to people with Medicare and their families,” she wrote in an email.
She will be in Craig twice a month to help Craig residents understand the government health insurance program.
Consultations take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the first and third Tuesdays of the month in room 106 of the Colorado Northwestern Community College Bell Tower Building, 50 College Dr.
The consultations are free and confidential, and they are open to residents who receive Medicare, which is for people 65 and older, or who will be receiving Medicare services in the near future.
“We help them understand their different options,” Packer said. “We cannot endorse one particular plan or another, but we can give them all the options and they can make their own choices.”
Residents also can attend a Medicare 101 class at 4 p.m. April 3 at the Bell Tower Building.
For more information, call Packer at 819-6937 or call 1-888-696-7213.
“The employer gets their worker back and has less lost time and insurance costs, and the worker has less suffering and less rehabilitation and debilitation so that they’re returned to normal as fast as possible.”
— Greg Holm, a nurse practitioner with YampaWorks Occupational Health Services, about the importance of occupational health care
What's the difference between an injured worker and a sidelined player for the Denver Broncos?
Not much, in Greg Holm's view, at least when it comes to rehabilitation.
Both need to get back into action — whether it's on the field or in the workplace — as soon as possible, said Holm, a nurse practitioner with Steamboat Springs-based YampaWorks Occupational Health Services.
YampaWorks, a program affiliated with Yampa Valley Medical Center, has provided services to Craig workers at its Steamboat Springs office for some time, said Christine McKelvie, Medical Center public relations director.
Now, however, Craig residents can get those services without the 40-mile drive.
Holm will be available twice a week at Yampa Valley Medical Center Specialty Clinic, 651 Yampa Ave., to offer workers' compensation care.
He also can perform work-related physical exams and respiratory tests for miners and other employees required to wear respiratory protection equipment.
YampaWorks brought its services to Craig about a month ago with Craig patients' convenience in mind, director Ted Morton said.
About 40 to 50 percent of the program's clients live in or around Craig, he said.
"They don't need to be driving back and forth (to Steamboat) for a 30-minute office visit," Morton said.
The program's Craig hours are subject to change, but in general, Holm is available at the Specialty Clinic from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays.
"As the need grows, the hours will grow," he said.
Occupational medicine is designed to pick up where immediate or primary care leaves off. Its purpose is to take the patient through to "complete rehabilitation," Holm said.
"Everybody is a winner in that sort of situation," he said.
"The employer gets their worker back and has less lost time and insurance costs, and the worker has less suffering and less rehabilitation and debilitation so that they're returned to normal as fast as possible."
For more information about YampaWorks' Craig services, call 875-2750.