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What medical providers in Elko will accept my Medicare?

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Telehealth services

A visitor gets a demonstration of telehealth services now offered at Nevada Health Centered through the Elko Family Medicine Residency program. A digital stethoscope and advanced examination camera are used in the examination that allows a patient access to providers in more than 50 medical specialties. 

ELKO — It can be difficult to find a primary care medical provider in Elko when you are on Medicare — any medical provider, including doctors, physician’s assistants and nurse practitioners, all of which provide quality health care.

It is important for everyone, and especially for seniors, to be able to see the same medical provider for years. This article and a subsequent one will focus on the local clinics that accept new patients who present a Medicare card. Also, clinics where the patient can set up an appointment to see a specific medical provider. (These clinics also take Medicaid.)

The Elko Family Medical & Dental Center, operated by Nevada Health Centers, is one such clinic. Located at 762 14th St. (the old Elko Clinic building across from the fairgrounds race track), it provides both medical and dental services. The health center accepts Medicare and Medicaid patients, and has a sliding fee scale for patients with no insurance. (Medicare will not pay for dental.)

Their family practice providers are John Tkach, M.D.; Sarah Lino, Nurse Practitioner; and Chelsey Blythe, Certified Physician’s Assistant. Nurse Practitioners have 1-4 years of college plus two years as RNs and two years in a Nurse Practitioner program. They can practice independently in Nevada. Physician’s Assistants have 1-4 years college plus two years in a Physician’s Assistance school and work under the supervision of a physician.

Experienced Physician’s Assistants and Nurse Practitioners provide good care, serving 90% of the needs of most Medicare and Medicaid patients. The key is their experience, commitment and continued growth after training.

Appointments can be made by calling a local number, 775-738-5850. The clinic is open Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. The clinic has two dentists and a hygienist. The clinic also offers behavioral health visits through telehealth and operates mobile programs offering dental care for children and mammography for women. They operate other clinics in Austin, Carlin, Jackpot and Wendover.

Nevada Health Centers also houses the UNR Family Medicine Rural Residency Program. Students spend their last two years of residency training in Elko. Doctors Steven Lore and Jacqueline Huynh are UNR faculty in the program. Scarlett Cavalli Daneshvar and Nittu Singh are third-year resident physicians and Kaley Getchis and Ha V. Vu are second year resident physicians. Other second and third year resident physicians in the program come out from Reno for month-long stays.

Appointments can be set up with any faculty or resident physician. Each sees patients about half the time since the residency requirements take up the rest of the time.

Resident physicians have completed almost all of their medical training and provide good service to patients. They are completing their three-year required residency training to specialize in Family Medicine. They all take Medicare and Medicaid patients. Appointments can be set up using the Nevada Health Center’s number.

The next article will include information on Aspen Quick Care, Medallus Urgent Care, and UNR’s Internal Medicine Residency Program at the Elko Clinic. If I leave out a provider that meets these criteria, please contact me at 775-385-8870. I will be happy to include them in a later article.


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