Medicaid changes force dropping out of program

Due to recent changes in the MEDICAID dental program, after 35 years of being a major provider for them, we have had to resign.  The new restrictions and regulations have made it impossible for us to provide the type of care that we are committed to provide to all of our patients, regardless of how the bill is paid.

Taking care of all patients is our top priority at Harrison Dental.

While I agree with the State Government’s efforts to balance the budget, and see the MEDICAID changes as logically stemming form that effort, I don’t agree with some of the decisions that have been made concerning the dental program.

I feel confident that the needed savings could have been achieved and still leave a program that would have worked for children and the offices that chose to continue to treat them.  We would have been glad to be one of those, but despite our best efforts, we were ignored.  There likely are things that we are not aware off that entered into the decisions made, but once again would have liked a chance to assist in the process.

Because of our willingness to do so, and because it is near by, we have been providing dental care to many of the residents of the Idaho State Veterans Home, most of whom are dependent on MEDICAID for their dental care.  With the new changes to the program, adult services are limited to emergency treatment of pain only, and with numerous hoops to jump through before that emergency treatment can be provided.

By resigning as a provider it will allow us to provide the treatment that is needed without government regulations getting in the way.  Of course there often will be no money to pay for treatment unless family members are able to help.  In an honest effort to do our part we are providing dental treatment to our Veterans in the VA Nursing Home at no cost or low cost when there are no other options for them.  We feel like they deserve no less.  We all owe them a debt that we can never repay.  Hopefully we will be able to do this financially for the duration.  With support from the community, in the form of their continued patronage of our office, we think we will.


Channel 7 interview on mini-implants

Thanks to Dee Sarton and Channel 7 for interviewing Dr. Fife at Harrison Dental about miniature dental implants. Mini implants do many of the same things as conventional dental implants, but are smaller, less expensive and easier to install. See the interview here.

Dr. Fife gave an overview of the advantages of mini-implants, which include:

  • Replacing individual teeth
  • Anchoring dentures
  • Cost about one-third the cost of a conventional dental implant
  • Much less painful and faster recovery – a day or less.

If you have questions about implants, please call us at 208-342-3695.

Welcoming Dr. Colleen Crowley Jarvis

Harrison Dental is proud to welcome another valuable member to our team, Dr. Colleen Crowley Jarvis. Dr. Crowley is a graduate of Creighton University and the Marquette University School of Dentistry and has been practicing for five years. She is involved in the American Dental Association, the Idaho State Dental Association and the Academy of General Dentistry. Dr. Crowley has gained substantial experience in traditional and new dental techniques and is a strong addition to our staff. For more information on our practice, visit

Time to say “thanks” to our patients

To show our appreciation for our amazing patients, Harrison Dental is holding a monthly drawing! Just come in for an appointment, or make payment on your account throughout the month and we will automatically enter your name. The August prize is a gift card to the Boise Co-Op. Past prizes have included fishing gift baskets, cosmetic gift baskets and theater tickets. We hope you all had a great summer and look forward to seeing you in the fall, at our full-service dental office in Boise’s North End.

Past gift baskets, one for gardening, one for fishing.

Dr. Fife with two of our past gift baskets.

Yes, he's happy: He has a great smile and a fishing gift basket!

Harrison Dental offers a better alternative to dental insurance

If you are looking for dental insurance, you may wish to consider our alternative, the Harrison Dental Savings Plan. It is comparable to a preferred provider network fee schedule, but much less expensive. Here’s how it works:

The Basic Plan: Two cleanings, two exams and any necessary x-rays per year. Consultation about treatment options. Oral cancer screening and fluoride treatments. 25 percent off all dental treatment, including whitenings, cosmetics and veneers. Cost: $300 for the first person, $150 for the second person, $100 for each additional person and $800 for a family. Annual individual maximum benefit is $2,000.

The Preferred Plan Everying in the Basic Plan, plus: 30 percent off all treatment and annual individual benefit maximum of $3,000. Cost: $400 for the first person, $250 for the second person, $150 for each additional person and $1,175 for a family. Consider that a typical exam, bite wing and X-ray can cost $268, and you can see this savings plan starts adding up. Also, a typical insurance plan costs $40 a month for the first person and has an annual maximum benefit of $1,200. Plus, usually you cannot claim any benefits for the first year, even though you are paying into the plan!

The Harrison Dental Savings Plan starts immediately, costs 25 percent less and gives more compared to an insurance plan. There are a few cases where a dental plan may make more sense for you. For example, if you have dental coverage through your employer and a larger family, you should probably stick with that. However, for just about anyone else, our plan will give you more value for the money. Each plan is based on an individual benefit year and cannot be combined with other insurance plans, discounts or promotions.