Emmons Wellness Center Policies
Health care involves a partnership between patients and health care professionals. Open communication, respect for personal and professional standards, and understanding differences are essential for the best patient care.
Patients Have the Right to:
- Considerate and respectful care regardless of age, race, disability, handicap, national origin, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, gender, or veteran status.
- Obtain appropriate, current, and understandable information, to the extent known, about diagnosis, treatment (potential side effects), and prognosis.
- Know the identity of the provider(s) and others involved in their care. The practitioner's name and professional qualifications should be visible or stated upon introduction.
- When possible, choose the provider of their preference.
- A second opinion regarding diagnosis or treatment. (However, consultation outside Emmons Wellness Center is the financial responsibility of the patient.)
- Information regarding the scope and availability of services.
- Know the fee for services, the nature of the charges, and the methods of payment.
- Expect that your personal convictions and beliefs will be taken into account when you seek help.
- Privacy and confidentiality with regard to treatment and medical records, except when release is required by law. Case discussion, consultation, examination, and treatment should be conducted so as to protect each patient's privacy.
- Review and receive copies of their medical records. Original medical records remain the property of the Wellness Center.
- Make decisions about the plan of care before and during treatment, refuse treatment, and/or request a second opinion or referral.
- Make requests for medications, labs, and other services that they believe will benefit their health.
- Be informed of the health center's policies, protocol, and practices that relate to patient care and treatment.
- Provide feedback, both positive and negative, about any aspect of the student health services to the director of Emmons Wellness Center, via email, phone, online suggestion box, or in person.
- Refuse participation in any research project that may be offered through Emmons Wellness Center without in any way jeopardizing your right to care.
Confidentiality and Privacy
Emmons Wellness Center (EWC) providers are required by their code of ethics, California State Law, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) to protect the privacy of their patients. Because Emmons operates on a college campus and can be designated as both a FERPA and a HIPAA “entity", there may be very rare circumstances in which a student’s information could receive greater protection under the law from an off campus provider.
Legal and Ethical Standards
While EWC upholds the highest privacy standard - California State Privacy Law - FERPA frames privacy at an educational institution. FERPA information - all information gathered by an educational institution - is divided into two types: Educational and treatment records. Educational records may be shared across campus on a “need to know" basis, and may be disclosed to off campus entities for “legitimate educational purposes." As is the case with California State Law and HIPAA, disclosure of treatment records, both on and off campus, requirse patient authorization.
Exclusions to Privacy
Because EWC providers must observe specific exclusions to privacy, they cannot guarantee the privacy of their patients in all situations. EWC providers may disclose information without permission or authorization from their patients in the following situations:
- To a third party, for the sake of billing.
- Among EWC Clinical staff, to improve the quality of care provided.
- For emergency care, to protect a patient from self-induced, life-threatening harm.
- When required or authorized by law to report child abuse - including intentional access to unlawful sexual images - elder abuse, or dependent adult abuse.
- When required or authorized by law to contact law enforcement and warn a threatened person.
- In judicial proceedings, as ordered by a judge or court.
- To public health officials, if required to ensure safety.
Notice of Privacy Practices
Several medical services provided by Emmons are billed to the student health insurance plan and third party insurance providers. As a result, all Wellness Center services fall under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and students receiving medical and counseling services will be provided with a notice that reflects HIPAA standards.
By definition, informed consent occurs when the student voluntarily enters treatment and has the capacity to understand their rights as a patient of EWC, including privacy practices. EWC providers will make every effort to review privacy practices in order to ensure that any consent for medical or psychological care is truly informed.
Disclosure of Information
Any disclosure of information - including the acknowledgement that an individual is a patient at EWC - must either be authorized by the individual holding legal privilege over the medical records held by EWC or meet the exclusion criteria outlined in this policy. Such authorization will occur by means of informed consent on a release of information form approved by the Senior Director.
The individual holding privilege may request that information be released at any point. Requests for information from any individual other than the holder of privilege (parent, family member, medical/mental health care provider) must receive the holder’s authorization.
Privacy and Communication
All email has little to no privacy or confidentiality. Emmons Staff will direct patients to utilize Secure Messaging – a confidential and private form of communication. Students may access secure messages through the medicat portal.
Cost of Service & Billing
$10.00 co-pay for all non-preventive services for students with the Student Health Insurance
*STI testing is free for all students
Individuals with the student health insurance will be charged a $10 copay and are subject to a deductible for blood/lab work. Those with PPO insurance plans will have their insurance billed and will be responsible for 50% of the remaining bill not covered by insurance. Those with HMO and Kaiser plans can not be billed but will be given a 50% discount for services. All that said, ability to pay should never be a reason to not get care, at Emmons or elsewhere. We are willing to work with you on cost and help you manage your outside hospital bills.
While Emmons does not currently have session limits, the average length of individual therapy is between 4-6 sessions; students are able to utilize as many group counseling sessions as they would like. All counseling services offered at Emmons are free of charge. In an effort to meet the demand and see as many students as we can, we collaboratively work with students to determine the appropriate length and type of treatment.
Emmons Wellness Center does not write notes to excuse any missed classes or assignments associated with participating in our services.
It is the students' responsibility to be proactive in contacting professors if they become ill and miss class. The Wellness Center does not want to interfere with a professor’s decision about how to handle absences due to illness.
We understand, however, that there are times where a student is ill and/or contagious and it would be appropriate and advisable to not attend class for a period of time. Please note our internal process regarding students experiencing moderate to severe illness:
- Students seeking healthcare services at Emmons Wellness Center are evaluated by a medical provider for severity of current illness. All students have access to a 'walk out statement' upon ending their visit at Emmons. This is proof that the student was seen at Emmons that day.
- In the case of a minor illness, where the student is late to class or misses class, it is up to the student to personally contact their professor and offer a copy of their 'walk out statement' at the next class meeting if appropriate.
- In cases of moderate to severe illness that may cause several missed classes and the need for special accommodations, the Wellness Center can notify the Dean of Students Office and/ or the Athletics Department, with the student's written consent, and have those departments contact professors and/ or coaches directly and advise of the need for accommodations due to illness.
- The Dean of Students Office and Athletics will convey an appropriate time frame that the student may need academic accommodations.
- The Health Center does not follow the process identified above for students who retroactively visit the Health Center after the course of their illness.
As stated above, ultimately it is each professor’s own discretion as to how/if absences are excused.