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UNF Spinnaker

Is Student Health Services moving off-campus?

Photo by Alexis Molinaro
Student Health Services is currently located on the second floor of the Brooks College of Health. Photo by Alexis Molinaro

UNF may be moving Student Health Services (SHS) off campus so that they can begin accepting health insurance.

The university issued an Invitation to Negotiate (ITN) to healthcare providers regarding moving Student Health Services off-campus. In this time period, possible third-party providers can pitch how they will efficiently deliver healthcare to students. The deadline for negotiation is July 22.

Scott Bennett, Associate Vice President, Administration and Finance said the ITN is exploratory.  “We’re having open-ended conversations with third-parties that would provide more worthwhile services, not that we don’t already have a lot,” he said.

If SHS accepts health insurance, the university would have to comply with federal HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) guidelines.

“HIPAA is a different ballgame,” Bennett said. “Most schools don’t accept insurance. If we do start accepting insurance, we want to make sure we have the facilities to do so.”

Bennett said the location would have to be within a half-a-mile distance from campus. He also said the university would provide a shuttle stop to the location.

“We wouldn’t do anything unless it benefitted the students,” Bennett said.

Bennett was interviewed by Spinnaker June 6, but is unable to speak further on the issue due to the fact that he is a member of the selection committee.

Karen McSheffrey, SHS office manager, said there’s been concerns that the SHS computers won’t be able to handle third-party or insurance billing, which is another reason for the possible move.

However, she addressed multiple problems facing the potential move. She said having SHS on campus prioritizes students and that, if they move, transportation could become an issue.

McSheffrey said changes could affect the staff as well, because the university would have to offer positions to current staff at the possible health care provider.

“We’re very passionate about what we do here for students. Nobody’s happy about it,” McSheffrey said.

UNF Student Government is currently polling students about the possible relocation of SHS through Thursday, July 14.

Spinnaker will continue to update on this situation as more information becomes available.

For more information or news tips, or if you see an error in this story or have any compliments or concerns, contact [email protected].

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