NIU Health Service proposes changes

By Caryn Rosenberg

University Health Services proposed several program changes but did not request any student fee increases at the President’s Fee Study Committee Thursday.

Dana Mills, associate director of University Health Services, said they are considering several program changes.

First, Mills said the University Health Center will no longer continue its $25 referral policy after a unanimous decision.

“(The referral policy) is a portion of the health care fee that is paid to doctors for any student referred by us to a local doctor,” Mills said.

Mills said the policy is not needed because there is a limited demand from students for outside doctors.

The second proposed change, according to Mills, is the elimination of the 7-11 p.m. hours at the health center which provide only nurse services, accompanied by the extension of its full service hours from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.

“Very few students come to us between 7 p.m. and 11 p.m. and statistics tell us the number of patients seen per hour is less than one,” Mills said.

Mills said the cost for nighttime services range from $78 to $98 per visit, as opposed to $39 for daytime services.

“It would be a more cost-effective way to manage,” Mills said.

In addition, he said the change means a doctor will be in the building at all times during working hours.

Finally, Mills said the Health Service will retract the $10 charge previously proposed for broken gynecological and psychiatric appointments.

“Finding a patient (for these appointments) at the last moment is possible but not very likely,” Mills said. “The majority of the members (of the budget review team) recommended (the charge), but it was not supported by the vice president.”

Vice President for Student Affairs Barbara Henley was not available for comment.

The President’s Fee Study Committee meets each year to consider requests from fee-supported campus groups.