The Care Manager in Medical Services provides anticipatory guidance, assistance with navigating the healthcare system, identifying and obtaining needed resources, coordinating complex healthcare needs, and ensuring needed follow-up care when acutely ill.
Medical Care Managers can help students learn to be responsible for their own healthcare. That includes; becoming responsible for making & canceling their own appointments, navigating productive appointments, managing healthcare decisions, obtaining and taking medication, following through with professional advice, seeking follow-up care, understanding insurance coverage, and ensuring costs associated with care are paid. Students’ medical records are private, and Medical Care Managers will not be able to release any medical information without permission. Understanding this, it is important to have conversations about your health history and insurance coverage before coming to Grounds.
Some examples include:
- Planning for the transition to college
Arriving at the University of Virginia for the first time is exciting and full of new experiences that require the establishment of a new routine. It is recommended that students accomplish the list below prior to arrival on Grounds to have a plan in place for meeting ongoing healthcare needs.
Things to accomplish before arriving at UVA
- Prior to due date, visit PCP to complete the Pre-entrance Health Form
- Request refills for medication needed prior to returning home for break.
- Transfer any prescriptions needed to a pharmacy here in Charlottesville. There is a pharmacy location in the Student Health and Wellness (SHW) building, more information here.
- Enter health and emergency contact information into a health app on your phone.
- Obtain common over-the-counter medications and first aid kit.
- If applicable, make arrangements for continuation of care for chronic conditions early in the summer, by requesting a transfer of care from your home team to a local specialist. More information can be found below.
- If applicable, make arrangements for shipments of medications from your pharmacy directly to UVA. Student Health and Wellness does not accept delivery of medications for students.
Things to accomplish once arriving at UVA
- Request that prescriptions be transferred to a local pharmacy. There is a pharmacy location in the Student Health and Wellness building, more information here.
- Review the SHW website for an overview of the array of programs & services provided.
- Familiarize yourself with how to make an appointment on the Healthy Hoos portal.
- If you have a chronic health condition, consider establishing care with one of our providers who can function as your primary care provider while here at school. Bio’s for out Medical Services providers can be found here.
- Coordinating complex care needs
Students with complex healthcare needs may have a variety of needs which need to be met on an ongoing basis to ensure continued good health. Some of these are a part of everyday life and will have to be monitored by the student once they arrive on Grounds.
No matter the circumstance, it is important to be able to promote & maintain a healthy baseline, recognize parameters which may trigger additional interventions, have the knowledge & resources to respond appropriately, recognize when developing “red flag” symptoms, and when to seek professional help. Medical Care Managers are available to assist in developing a plan to meet needs while living and learning away from home. Our after-hours service is available when we are closed to assist students.
Mastering chronic healthcare needs while balancing social and academic success
Plan for Success: The secret to a successful transition is remembering to learn to care for yourself before coming to Grounds. Ask your support system to help you understand your medications, allergies, mission critical treatments, and special dietary needs with the goal of managing them independently before coming to UVA. Ask them to help you develop strategies for problem-solving if faced with a less than ideal situation, and most importantly how to recognize when you need to reach out for professional help. Plan for prescription refills, and reordering replacement supplies.
Build in Flexibility: Design a schedule with time built in to meet personal care needs, time to get from one class to the next, sleep and eat well, study, exercise, and have FUN! Be realistic when planning course loads and be strategic when planning schedules. Arrange for appropriate accommodations to allow for a buffer should you become ill or need to leave class suddenly. Be patient! Everything is likely to take longer at first, so allow time to pay attention to the little things you know are essential to maintaining your health.
Bring the Essentials: If you needed it at home to manage your medical condition, it is likely you will benefit from having it with you here at UVA. For a diabetic, equipment like insulin pumps and glucometers allow monitoring and make timely modifications as students adjust to new schedules, diets, and levels of activity. Asthmatics who remember their rescue and maintenance inhalers, home nebulizer machines, and commonly used over-the-counter medications are frequently successful at maintaining their baseline and miss fewer classes. Medical Care Managers can help students coordinate their essential equipment.
Know Your Coverage: Ask a parent or guardian for a hardcopy of insurance, prescription, and dental cards. The cost of professional services at Student Health and Wellness is covered by Mandatory Fees, which is rolled into your tuition. There are charges for medications, lab tests, supplies for certain treatments, immunizations and injections, and copies of your medical record. These charges will be billed directly to insurance for students with Aetna Student Health plan. Students will be responsible for submitting these charges for reimbursement on a plan other than Aetna Student Health plan.
- Arranging for specialized care while at UVA
Leaving for UVA may correspond with the time students transition from a pediatric to adult specialist. Medical Care Managers realize this can be a source of anxiety for some families and are here to assist if follow-up care might be needed prior to students returning home for break.
It is recommend that beginning early in the summer:
- The transfer of care should be initiated by the student’s home specialist to a local specialty clinic.
- In general, the transfer of care should include the reason for the referral, summary of relevant past medical history, treatment received to date, recent lab results, imaging reports, pathology reports and other data as indicated by the diagnosis.
- If the student is over 18 years old, they need to complete a Release of Medical Information form to allow for the sharing of their protected health information.
- Most specialty clinics will contact you directly to schedule the first appointment. It is strongly recommended setting-up voicemails in advance.
- Coordinating the sharing of key medical records
Students with chronic health conditions may request that their current provider submit a brief note providing a summary of their illness, a list of current medications, with recent lab and imaging results (where applicable) to SHW to serve as a baseline for any ongoing care. This summary can be presented during the first visit at SHW or faxed upon request to the Care Manager. Care Managers are happy to reciprocate by sharing information regarding your recent care back to your home providers. The student will need to complete the Consent for the Release of Medical Information prior to the release of protected health information.
- Identifying resources on & off Grounds
SHW can meet most students’ primary healthcare needs during regular business hours. There is also an on-call number students can use after hours to get in contact with care providers. Students can obtain IV fluids, x-rays, and laboratory studies onsite. Students requiring longer observation, or emergency care are stabilized and transferred to the UVA Emergency Department to receive a higher level of care. SHW will resume care once the student is discharged.
Students are fortunate to have two medical centers in Charlottesville, UVA Health and Sentara Medical Center. Providers in both systems are available help address ongoing healthcare needs not able to be managed at SHW. Providers can refer to both systems for specialty care, imaging (CT, US, MRI/MRA’s), therapies (PT, OT, Speech Language), and procedures. In addition, there is a free-standing infusion center in the community, several free-standing Physical Therapy practices, and several Urgent Care Centers to address care needs when SHW is closed.
- Addressing barriers to receiving care
Despite advanced planning there may be a gap between needs and available resources. Sometimes there may be a lack of available appointments with local specialists, long waiting lists, or issues with insurance not providing coverage for care that has been recommended.
It can take months to get in to see a new specialist, so begin planning well in advance of arrival on Grounds. A Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) Care Manager can assist with locating local mental healthcare clinicians.
If you'd like to learn more about using your health insurance, check out this PDF here.
- Ensuring follow-up care for students who seek care after hours
On occasion, a student may need to seek care outside of regular business hours such as an evening, weekend, or holiday. It is recommended to call our after hours care providers for an initial assessment, recommendations, and guidance regarding how quickly to be seen.
If it is recommend to be seen prior to the next time SHW is open, care providers will recommend students seek care at either a local Urgent Care Center or Emergency Department depending upon the severity of the illness. Additional charges apply when visiting an Urgent Care Center or Emergency Department. Students are encouraged to follow-up with SHW as directed, or sooner if symptoms are not improving.