Creative Commons/Flickr/Zdenko Zivkovic

The number of low-income Medicaid patients accessing care in area emergency rooms is on the rise. The increase - seen at Aspen Valley and Valley View Hospitals - follows a national trend in states that expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen reports.

In 2014 the amount of business Aspen Valley Hospital did for Medicaid patients was triple the number in 2013. Hospital officials attribute the rise to Colorado expanding its Medicaid program.

Although the Aspen to Parachute Dental Health Alliance is young, they have a handful of successful projects that are helping to bring education, prevention and access to oral healthcare from Aspen to Parachute. Carrie Godes is a member of the Dental Alliance board of directors and works for Garfield County Public Health. She shares the organization's history and programs. 

Learn more about the Aspen to Parachute Dental Health Alliance at

Welcome to Mountain Edition.

Once again, Aspen will play host to the First Lady. Michelle Obama is expected to be in town this weekend.

An Aspen teenager arrested and taken down by police officers gets an attorney. Police suspect the teen had marijuana.

Aspen City Council supports an affordable housing project from a prolific landowner. But, a tree nearly derails the approval.

The new Airport Director in Aspen talks about plans to improve the experience of flying into the Upper Valley.

Creative Commons/Flickr/Wonderlane

If you’re an adult with Medicaid in the Roaring Fork Valley, there’s just a handful of dental offices that will accept your health insurance. This lack of access is a problem as the number of Medicaid patients increase under the Affordable Care Act. Colorado expanded Medicaid a year ago and in Pitkin County alone, the number of people using Medicaid nearly tripled. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen has more.

Elise Thatcher

Garfield County is looking at how much money it can spend-- and save-- next year. Officials introduced the proposed 2015 budget… and it's a lot like the playbook officials had this year, in 2014. But there are some key changes. 

Elise Thatcher

     Adjusting to new health insurance rules has been a big shift for just about everyone involved in health care--whether it's patients, nurses or insurance workers. Six months ago the Affordable Care Act started requiring nearly everyone have insurance. We were curious to do a check-up and find out how patients are getting used to new healthcare plans. 

Mountain Family Health Centers

Last month, several people raced to sign up for health insurance before the March 31st deadline. Many of those patients qualified for the taxpayer-funded Medicaid program. Turns out, more people signed up for Medicaid than for private insurance in the tri-county area that includes Garfield, Pitkin and Eagle Counties. Now, doctor’s offices that handle these patients are trying to keep up. Aspen Public Radio's Marci Krivonen reports.

Creative Commons/Staff Sgt. Bernardo Fuller/U.S. Army

The Affordable Care Act is helping low income residents in the Roaring Fork Valley get health insurance. That’s according to officials who oversee programs for the poor. More people are signing up for Medicaid and others are purchasing insurance plans from the state exchange. Aspen Public Radio's Marci Krivonen reports.

In Pitkin County, the number of Medicaid patients jumped 20 percent since October. So, 90 more people are seeking care from doctors who will take them.

Mountain Valley Developmental Services is a non-profit who provides services and support to over 450 individuals with developmental disabilities in Eagle, Lake, Garfield and Pitkin county. The most common issue Mountain Valley works with is children prone to developmental disabilities. Executive Director Bruce Christensen and Human Resources director Dana Peterson, discuss Mountain Valley's children and family programs.   

Creative Commons/Flickr/The National Guard

The Affordable Care Act continues to roll out with the opening of something called a marketplace next week. That’s where people can shop for health insurance. Health care reform also expands Medicaid - the government-subsidized health plan for low-income people. Currently, many doctors in the Roaring Fork Valley and beyond don’t accept Medicaid patients because the plan gives providers a dismal reimbursement. As Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen reports, some doctors say the issue highlights a fundamental problem with the health care system.