Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Does the Health Center notify parents when students come to the Health Center?
A: In general, we consider it the responsibility of the student to inform parents concerning illness and injury. Parents are not called for routine use of Health Center services, including care of minor injuries and illnesses. Sometimes routine referrals may be made to local specialists for routine uncomplicated injuries without notifying parents. However, parents are always notified by the school doctor of significant illnesses and injuries, especially when anticipated treatment is prolonged or complex. In the case of emergencies, parents are contacted as soon as it is practical after emergency medical care is begun and/or transport to the emergency room is initiated.
Q: Does the Health Center notify teachers of missed classes?
A: It is the responsibility of the student to inform teachers when he or she misses a class for medical reasons. This can be easily done by phone, voicemail, email, or in person. It is particularly important for students to talk to their teachers if they are unable to complete a graded assignment because of illness or injury, whether it is an in-class assignment such as a test or quiz or an out-of-class assignment such as a paper or project. It is the student’s responsibility to clarify with teachers as soon as possible when the assignment will be made up. A student’s advisor and the Dean of Student’s Office are notified of Health Center visits that occur during class-time as well as overnight stays in the Health Center. When a student misses a class because of being in the Health Center, the absence will be excused by the Dean of Student’s Office and Accountability Points (AP’s) will not be given. Although teachers are not automatically notified when students miss their class for medical reasons, teachers can and often do check with the Dean or the Health Center to verify whether a student has been in the Health Center during their class.
Q: Does the Health Center do lab tests and X-rays?
A: We do strep tests and urinalyses at the Health Center at no charge. Blood tests are drawn at the Health Center and sent to the local hospital, the Baystate Franklin Medical Center, in Greenfield. We do not have X-ray facilities at the Health Center. Students are transported to the Baystate Franklin Medical Center for X-rays, CT scans, MRIs, etc. The Baystate Franklin Medical Center will bill your insurance company directly for lab tests and X-rays done at their facility.
Q: Does the Health Center charge for services?
A: Routine outpatient services provided by the nursing staff and by the school doctor are free. There is a charge for laceration repair, however, which will be billed to your health insurance. When students stay at the Health Center for more than three nights, they are charged a daily fee starting on the fourth night. They are also charged a one-time fee for inpatient physician services for each Health Center stay longer than three nights. Some health insurance companies will cover the overnight charges, as the Health Center is a licensed medical facility. However, HMOs and managed care plans frequently will not cover these charges, as they have strict criteria for hospital admission. Even though a student may need to stay in the Health Center for a few days with prolonged fever or the flu or mononucleosis, an HMO may not pay the bill because these diagnoses do not meet their criteria for acute care hospitalization. For this reason, we strongly encourage purchasing the supplemental health insurance offered by the school, which will cover these expenses up to the limit of the coverage provided.
Q: What if a student needs to see a specialist?
A: The school physician frequently refers students to specialists in the local area, usually in Greenfield. Most commonly these referrals are for specialists in orthopedic surgery, general surgery, and oral surgery. However, a wide variety of medical and surgical specialists are available in the local area and those referrals are made as the need arises. Transportation is provided to and from doctor’s offices in Greenfield by the school for a small fee. The local hospital is the Baystate Franklin Medical Center in Greenfield. The closest tertiary care center is the Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, MA, a major teaching hospital associated with Tufts University Medical School.
Q: What if a student needs to see a dentist or orthodontist?
A: Appointments with local dentists and orthodontists are scheduled by the Health Center staff. Transportation to and from the dentist’s or orthodontist’s office can be provided for a small fee.
Q: What if a student takes medicine for ADD or depression?
A: Medications used to treat ADD and depression fall into the category of psychotropic medications. Their use in schools such as DA is regulated by the state and must be handled according to the Psychotropic Medication Policy to be in compliance with state regulations. Psychotropic medications must be kept in the Health Center and dispensed to the student by the nursing staff. Although this may sound cumbersome, students quickly find this easy to accomplish. You may ask the Health Center staff for a copy of the Psychotropic Medication Policy or you can find it online here.
Q: How does a student see the school psychiatrist?
A: The school psychiatrist comes to campus once or twice per month to see students in psychiatric consultation. Common reasons for students to see the psychiatrist include depression, bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and ADD/ADHD. Appointments with the psychiatrist are typically scheduled by a member of the counseling staff or by the school doctor. Follow-up appointments are scheduled directly with the psychiatrist. Permission must be obtained from parents before seeing the psychiatrist. Parents will be billed by the psychiatrist for his services. That portion of the fee covered by health insurance should be reimbursed to the parents by their health insurance company.
If you have additional questions, call the Health Center at 413-774-1600