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October 2009
Hillcrest Dental Care Honored by Berkshire Chamber of Commerce 10/30/2009

Hillcrest Dental Care was honored on October 28, 2009 with a Good News Salute from the Berkshire Chamber of Commerce held at Crowne Plaza and attended by over 400 people.

Below you'll find the text of the salute that was shared by Kris Hazzard, President and CEO of Berkshire County United Way.

Since 1985, Hillcrest Dental Care, a division of Hillcrest Educational Centers has been providing quality and accessible oral health services to the special needs and low-income residents of the Berkshires.

Located at 788 South Street, Hillcrest Dental Care is the largest provider of oral health services to these at risk members of our community, treating more than 6000 Berkshire County residents a year.

Founded to provide care for the students of Hillcrest Educational Centers, Hillcrest Dental Care has its simple beginnings as one dental chair operation located in the basement of dormitory where the Hillcrest kids lived.  Care was provided two days a month in collaboration with Tufts Dental.

When Tufts Dental and the Mass Department of Public Health withdrew in the late 1980’s, Hillcrest opened its own freestanding clinic.

Collaborations with other human service organizations grew through the years due to the shared challenges of finding accessible oral health services for children and adults with significant mental and physical disabilities coupled with low reimbursement health insurances.

Hillcrest Dental Care, which is fully handicap accessible, is the exclusive or primary provider of oral heathcare to
•    Soldier On
•    Berkshire County Arc
•    Riverbrook Residence for Women
•    Berkshire Meadows
•    Eagleton and Kolburne schools in addition to the kids of Hillcrest Educational Centers

Hillcrest Dental Care also provides care to many of our area retirement, nursing, long term care and assisted living facilities including
•    Hillcrest Commons,
•    Mt. Greylock Extended Care
•    Kimball Farms
•    Berkshire Place
•    And Laurel Lake Rehabilitative Center

At the heart of Hillcrest Dental Care is the dedicated, experienced and well-trained staff that includes:
•    5 full time dentists
•    5 dental assistants
•    3 hygenists
•    3 office staff
•    and Tricia Chadbourne, operations director

This team of 17 full time staff, which has doubled in size over the past two years, provides care in a state of art dental facility that has 6 treatment rooms.  Hillcrest Dental Care has been able to stay at the leading edge of equipment and technology thanks to more than $500,000.00 in grants from the Oral Health Foundation over the past 7 years.

With nearly 90 % of Hillcrest Dental Cares 6000 patients on MassHealth insurance, the state program for low-income residents, significant fiscal challenges are met with tremendous fiscal responsibility.

On average, MassHealth reimburses 60% of billed services

As an example, a cleaning that Hillcrest provides and bills for $95.00 is reimbursed only $60.00 by MassHealth.

In the past year alone, more than one million dollars in services was not reimbursed due to the large number of MassHealth patients.

You may be asking yourself, how does Hillcrest Dental Care stay financially solid with so much unreimbursed care??  A good question and the answer is …………
•    Through efficient billing procedures that enable them to collect 98% of all available  reimbursement
•    Treating patients with respect and accountability
•    Scheduling efficiencies that support utilization of services
•    Attracting and retaining quality staff

This combination of a fiscal responsibility, quality care in a state of the art facility with top-notch staff has positioned Hillcrest to grow and meet the continued demand for our services.

Hillcrest Dental Care is currently engaged in its “Special Smiles for the Berkshires” campaign.  With a fundraising goal of $130,000.00, Hillcrest Dental Care will add and equip two new treatment rooms in its current facility.  This will enable Hillcrest Dental Care to provide care to an additional two thousand Berkshire County residents and create 4 new full time positions, including 2 full time dentists.

As you approach your 25th Anniversary, for your incredible commitment and collaborative spirit in meeting the needs of Berkshire County residents, your continued job growth and your campaign to grow and meet the ever increasing need for quality and accessible oral healthcare, will those representing Hillcrest Dental Care, please stand, smile and be recognized.

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