Student Health Services offers care to faculty, staff
Students may soon find themselves in line behind their professors at Student Health Services (SHS).
SHS will offer some health care services to faculty and staff members on a pay-per-visit basis this semester in hopes of creating more revenue for the department. This would prevent SHS from having to request more money from the $10 flat-rate student health fee to pay for growing expenses.
Diane Zanto, senior director of SHS, said offering services to faculty and staff members allows the center to continue providing services to students without charging beyond their insurance coverage or raising the cost of the health fee in the future.
“This is a way to raise extra revenue, offset fees for students and still be a service we can offer to another
population,” she said. “So it’s kind of a win-win. We didn’t want to have employees benefit from something meant for students.”
Staff without insurance will pay a $40-per-visit flat fee for minor health problems, and faculty with insurance will be billed accordingly.
Currently, students do not pay for regular appointments and only have to pay for materials such as ACE bandages and arm slings and special medical procedures, not the standard services rendered by SHS employees. USF staff and faculty members would pay reduced costs, which nonetheless raise revenue for the SHS, Zanto said.
Zanto said she didn’t want SHS to be seen as a competitor to USF Health for providing faculty care, so she approached USF Health and Student Affairs for approval earlier in the fall semester.
Dr. Diane Straub, associate professor of pediatrics who oversees adolescent health at USF Health, said SHS was able to go forward with this plan because of the empty waiting rooms SHS sees in the morning hours.
“Students don’t really go to the doctor very much in the morning because they’re either sleeping or in class,” she said. “So we’re kind of underutilized in the mornings, so we’re trying to work smarter. To be able to have full-time people, we have to make sure we have funding to pay for them, and we want to make sure we’re utilizing them in the time that we have.”
Between 8 a.m. and 11 a.m., a time slot that Zanto said sees little traffic, SHS will reserve 16 slots for faculty members with minor health concerns. Even during those hours, she said, students will still have scheduling priority.
“We’re really not going to see them for diabetes or heart conditions or things that are chronic or anything long term,” Zanto said. “It’s really for things like colds and flus, sprains and strains, or if you cut yourself or have a rash, something that you would use an urgent care center for, that you need to have checked out right now.”
Alan Kent, assistant vice president of Student Affairs, said SHS started looking into providing faculty and staff members with health care last semester.
“We saw that some other universities were doing this and so we thought this was something we could offer as well,” he said. “(But) we want to make sure students know this is in no way going to negatively impact students.”