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Editorial: UHS, while decent, has room for improvement

Issue date: 9/4/09 Section: Opinion
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In the midst of the near-hysteria about swine flu as school resumes, and the national debate regarding health care reform, it seems as good a time as any to evaluate the Case Western Reserve University Health Service (UHS). The UHS general clinic handles problems ranging from minor cuts and aches to depression, sexual health issues, and the flu, but campus health care can sometimes be a headache in and of itself for students. Here, we offer advice both for students and UHS.

The world of health insurance can be frustrating for anyone, but it's particularly bewildering for freshmen who've never dealt with a claim form before and don't know the difference between a deductible and a copayment. Knowing how to navigate this paperwork is hardly second nature, especially when a student requires more than a simple, one-time appointment at UHS. Whether the student is covered under the school's insurance plan or their existing private insurance, we suggest that UHS, and other local care providers and clinicians working with students, be as explicit as possible regarding what needs to be done at each juncture of the process.

This doesn't just apply to insurance forms and medical bills, though. Students often make assumptions that can end up inconveniencing them later, at the very least - assuming, for example, that prescriptions can automatically be refilled without a call to the clinic. Students should not assume something will be automatically taken care of: most of the time, you'll end up dealing with it later.

One of the bigger problems with UHS is the limited hours. Currently, UHS is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on the majority of weekdays and is typically appointment-only. The clinic is not open on weekends. While UHS does operate an on-call line at all times, often the recourse for a student who needs medical attention will be to head to the emergency room. We also feel that in many cases, UHS could collaborate with the student-run Case EMS to provide transportation to the ER in situations that warrant it - otherwise, students are often left to get there via their own devices.

Having to choose either waiting for an appointment with UHS or heading to the ER reveals another deficiency in Case's student health system: the lack of an urgent care option. Many times, a student's problem will not be serious enough to warrant a visit to the ER, but the lack of a timely alternative to obtaining care requires them to go anyway, taking up resources and lengthening wait times. While the service would likely be limited at first, a conveniently located urgent care option for students on the Case medical plan would be an improvement over the status quo.
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In This Issue


  • A conversation with: Duwain Pinder, president of USG
  • An open letter from Sigma Nu president John Horton
  • Can you name this place?
  • Case School of Medicine ranked No. 1 in Ohio
  • Case study: health care debate reaches Case campus
  • Case Western undergrad program ranked No.41 in the nation; No.1 in Ohio
  • Click to see some fall recruitment photos!
  • Fire sweeps through Sigma Nu fraternity house
  • See our top stories in photos!
  • USG Briefs
  • What is financial literacy and what does it mean for me?


  • Fantasy Focus

Fun Page

  • crossword solution
  • Killer Sudoku Solution
  • Maze Solution


  • Editorial: UHS, while decent, has room for improvement
  • Latin American metropolis an unexpected hub for Americans
  • Red, White, and Skewed
  • State your case photos: what is your favorite kind of weather?
  • The Seniority Report


  • Cleveland Museum of Art's new East Wing provides expansive collection of modern, classic artwork
  • Eating well and inexpensively still possible despite economic recession
  • Hitting the Spot: Robert Francis
  • Indie band Ra Ra Riot prep for Grog Shop
  • Inglourious Basterds builds cinematic glory out of historical revisionism, ultra violence
  • The Buzz
  • Yo La Tengo offer masterful collection

Cross Country

  • Assistant coach keeps the fun in running
  • Cross country goes young for first meet


  • Football Gameday

Sex and Dating

  • Risky business


  • Hiram tops men's soccer
  • Spartans gain momentum, but can't roll to win in opener

Spartan Spotlight

  • Spartan Spotlight: Caroline Garber

Worst Case Scenario

  • The Worst Case Scenario
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