Health center changes provider, billing system

GVL Archive / Baily Duemling

GVL Archive / Baily Duemling

Samantha Butcher

The start of a new academic year brings in new illnesses, but as of last week, sick students will be able to charge their insurance provider at the Campus Health Center.

On Sept. 1, Metro Health took over as a provider for the health center, which serves Grand Valley State University students, faculty and staff. The center, located in the Water Tower Plaza on the south end of the Allendale Campus, had partnered with Spectrum Health since 2002 but re-evaluated the relationship during the summer.

“We are extremely pleased to expand our presence in Allendale and strengthen our ties to GVSU with this new contract,” said Mike Faas, president and CEO of Metro Health, in a press release. “Metro has been active on Grand Valley’s campus as the medical provider for various sports teams. We look forward to being on campus as the university’s chosen health care provider when students return to classes this fall.”

Representatives from Spectrum Health could not be reached for comment.

Andy Beachnau, director of Housing and Health Services, said his department had received complaints from students about the previous billing system, which required patients to pay for services up front and then appeal the claim to their insurance providers. Both Spectrum Health and Metro Health presented to GVSU officials, but Metro Health was chosen for their ability to bill insurance providers directly.

Stacey Kammer, who manages both the Allendale and GVSU locations, said she was enthusiastic about the change.

“We can provide more one-on-one services for people, and we focus on treating people like they’re one in a million,” she said. “I feel like our patients are our greatest aspect to our health care organization; we make sure each individual patient gets service and attention they need.”

Kammer said the health center, which was recently updated with new technology, saw 50 students on its first day.

“It was wonderful,” she said. “The turnout was unexpected but in a really great way.”

The GVSU Campus Health Center offers general medical care, women’s health, physicals, immunizations, STD testing and laboratory services. Because Metro Health uses electronic records, students in need of secondary services such as ultrasounds, physical therapy and x-rays can visit another one of Metro Health’s locations. There are 13 Metro Health outpatient centers in West Michigan, including one located on Lake Michigan Drive in Allendale.

“The ability to have the Campus Health Center bill insurance providers directly will benefit students, as will the ability to refer to the Allendale Metro location,” Beachnau said.

So far the reaction to Metro Health’s presence on campus has been positive, Kammer said.

“We had a warm reception here, not only from students at the university, but faculty. I think people see that we are here to provide an excellent service on campus,” she said.

The Campus Health Center, located at 10383 42nd Ave., accepts appointments and walk-ins on Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For questions about their services or to make an appointment, call 616-252-6030.

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