October 12, 2012 by Brandon.Marder
Updated Oct. 15, 7:27 p.m.
Employees of the Drexel Student Health Center are preparing to move the center to a bigger space with new equipment at 3401 Market St. The move is scheduled for mid-November.
The DSHC is currently located at 3201 Arch St., but the facility is too small to handle the estimated 10,000 student visits that it has every year. The DSHC has been on Arch Street since 2002 and frequently runs out of space in its waiting room. The Arch Street location has only four exam rooms and lacks space to expand.
“We’re excited about our upcoming move and look forward to serving Drexel students at our new facility,” Dr. Leslie Everts, the medical director of the DSHC, said.
The new facility has been under construction since August. The space will feature seven or eight exam rooms, a larger waiting room than the current location, and new equipment throughout the facility. It is also closer to CVS on the 3400 block of Walnut Street, which will make it more convenient for students to pick up recommended medications. Additional doctors and registered nurses have been added to the staff in order to accommodate more students. In the future, the DSHC hopes to bring in a variety of specialists to provide even more services.Beginning Jan. 1, 2013, the DSHC will bill student’s health insurance directly as a primary-care provider, and student fees will vary based on their insurance policy. Students will have to pay more to go to the DSHC for sick visits, such as if a student has the flu. Currently the DSHC does not accept insurance from external providers.
Depending upon their insurance, students may have to pay a copay between $15 and $40 for sick visits, which Dr. Everts did not specify.
Students who have the Drexel insurance plan through Aetna will have to pay 20 percent of the negotiated charge for their visit. Currently the DSHC charges $10 for sick visits and $50 for annual gynecological exams and annual physicals. Annual exams, routine vaccinations and certain other services will be free of out-of-pocket expenses when the center starts billing insurance companies.
Sophomore Isabel Fidanza, an English major who lives in the Philadelphia area, thinks that students will decide where they go for health care based on convenience.
“Having [the sick visit services] for $10 was convenient because it was on campus, but if they’re going to start charging as much as a regular doctor … I will probably just go to my regular doctor,” Fidanza said. “The new location is a little better, but convenience is the ultimate factor for people who aren’t local.”
Nick Patel, a sophomore biology major, said that when he went to the DSHC, “[The] waiting room was pretty full, … [but] I don’t think they should charge [students] more.”
There will be a grand opening ceremony for the new facility in December or January.
For more information on the new rates that will be charged, students should check with their insurance companies or read the explanation of benefits. Students enrolled in the Drexel insurance plan can visit aetnastudenthealth.com and search for Drexel University to find information about the policy changes.