Graduate Student Health Insurance Scoring Team Releases Statement to Regents' Workgroup
October 19, 2009 - 9:30pm
To GSHIP Regential Workgroup,
Outlined below are some of the services and capabilities associated with UCLA Graduate Student Healthcare that are vital and imperative in order to maintain the overall quality of the UCLA graduate student experience. The concern from our campus is that system wide healthcare policy unification will affect UCLA in the most significant manner, resulting in a substantial cost increase coupled proportionally with decreased coverage. Given the exceptional operation of UCLA’s Arthur Ashe Health & Wellness Center, Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, and Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital at UCLA, this campus has one of the most comprehensive, exhaustive, and renowned healthcare services of any university nationwide. In addition to dependent care and extended gap care coverage, it is essential to the representatives of the UCLA GSHIP Scoring Team that the following services, which are currently affiliated with our health plan, are incorporated, regardless of insurance carrier and plan selection:
1. Uncapped pharmacy benefits
2. No Pre-Existing Clauses affiliated with any & all conditions
3. Carved out behavioral health services exclusively for UCLA students.
It is important to note that provider networks accepting new behavioral health patients in the Los Angeles area is exceptionally limited.
Furthermore, outlined below are specific technical concerns from the UCLA Scoring Team associated with the possibility of system wide unification. These concerns have been generated via the specialized experience and expertise of the dedicated students, staff and administrative members composing the UCLA Scoring Team:
Shared Governance and Continuous Collaborative Feedback:
Currently at UCLA, the Student Health Insurance Committee & Student Health Advisory Committee (SHAC) is heavily involved assessing the utilization and benefit composition of the UCLA GSHIP on a yearly basis. This serves as a necessary transparency and communication mechanism to ensure the highest quality of health services. With potentially a policy of 11 campuses, the logistics, feasibility and effectiveness of such a feedback model will involve exponentially more administrative streamlining.
Heterogeneity of Health Centers:
Not only are the health demographics of each campus considerably divergent, but so too are the capabilities of each Health Center. Utilization, referrals, and electronic infrastructures are drastically dissimilar. For example, at UCLA, each student is on the Electronic Medical Record (EMR) system and all policy & billing aspects of the Ashe Center and CAPS are compliant with the Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act (HIPAA).
Variability of Inter and Intra Campus Academic Terms:
A significant management, oversight and administrative complication is that each campus has different start/end dates. Furthermore, there are multiple start/end date variations within a campus. For example, UCLA alone has 4 different start dates (i.e. Law School, 2 dates for Medical School, and all other students). The efficacy of the proposed health service policies must account for such fluidity.
It is our desire that the points outlined above are afforded high priority, and that subsequent decisions made are done with a comprehensive set of justifiable and logical reasoning. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at any time.
Thank you and we look forward to being informed on the results of the October 19th meeting.
UCLA GSHIP Scoring Team:
Monroe Gorden, Chief Administrative Officer, UCLA office of the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs
Samuel Bersola, Assistant Vice Chancellor, UCLA Graduate Division
Jo Ann Dawson, Executive Director, UCLA Arthur Ashe Student Health & Wellness Center
Barbara Rabinowitz, Insurance Coordinator, UCLA Arthur Ashe Student Health & Wellness Center
Elizabeth Gong-Guy, Director, UCLA Counseling & Psychological Services
Jamal A. Madni, President, UCLA Graduate Students Association
Katharina Kircanski, Chair, Student Health Advisory Committee