California's fiscal crisis has heavily impacted the entire UC
system and supporting services, including University Health Services.
At UHS, our required 23% budget reduction requirement equals $2
million in cuts.
In deciding how to absorb these cuts, our priorities have remained clear: Provide high quality care and affordable, convenient services while remaining one of the most comprehensive student health centers in the nation.
We have taken a balanced approach to meet our required reductions:
We have reduced staff (up to 28); created business and operational
efficiencies through new technologies; and, beginning
September 21, 2009, we will increase some
fees and add new co-pays.
Implementing the new fees has been one of the most difficult decisions UHS has had to make, yet other options such as eliminating weekend hours and closing more Primary Care clinics would have more significant negative impact on students. The new fee rates were determined by assessing current practices in the other UC student health services as well as the health insurance industry and meeting our financial budget cut requirements
The good news is that there will be no changes in UHS’s hours of service, and SHIP benefits will remain intact, including new benefits such as vision coverage, expanded pharmacy, physical therapy and ambulance coverage added during the past two years.
Students can expect to experience the following changes:
•New co-pays: $15 for Primary Care visits and $30 for Urgent Care visits beginning, Monday September 21.
•Counseling and Psychological Services: UHS has increased on-campus care to 10 visits; the first five are free. Additional visits (past the five free visits) for Counseling and Social Services are on a fee-for-service basis.
•New Assessment Nurse in the Urgent Care waiting area: Students can now visit the Assessment Nurse to determine whether Urgent Care or a same day or future appointment would be best. Students may also continue to call the Advice Nurse .
•Potential for longer wait times: We anticipate that budget and staff reductions may create longer wait times, however we are also working on several projects that should create efficiencies once implemented. For example, the Assessment Nurse is already in place and expected to relieve some waiting times in Urgent Care.
Students can continue to access the following services for free:
- Advice Nurse, new Assessment Nurse and all nursing visits
- Up to five free counseling and social services visits
- Counseling groups and workshops
- Career library services, such as career counseling, assessment tools, information about careers, majors and graduate/professional schools
- After hours assistance
- Insurance advising for all students, including insurance for dependents and coverage after graduation
- Wellness and Self Care Resource Information, including brochures on health topics
- Sexual Health Education appointments
- Health & Wellness Education and Coaching for stress management, sexual health, time management, healthy eating and more
- Peer health education and volunteer opportunities
- Online services such as mental health screenings.
- Workshops, trainings, and presentations on depression and other mental health issues
- Health outreach activities, including awareness weeks (such as Mind and Body Awareness Week) and campaigns (such as Be Well to Do Well and I Heart Tap Water)
We value being a highly responsive organization, so we wanted to clearly communicate these changes to our customers. As always, we are committed to providing the essential services vital to the wellbeing of the campus community.