Northern Illinois University is committed to offering a high quality and comprehensive student health program for all NIU students. Our Health Services clinic offers a variety of options for helping students address their health needs ranging from check-ups and lab work to sick-visits and minor procedures.
Beginning January 15, 2019, the NIU Health Services campus clinic will be managed by experienced, skilled and compassionate medical staff from Northwestern Medicine. Students can expect the same services previously offered, as well access to new services and more flexible hours. The clinic will also begin to accept students on a walk-in basis rather than appointment only.
FAQ About NIU's Agreement with Northwestern Medicine
This partnership puts campus healthcare into the hands of one of the top medical systems in the nation (according to U.S. News and World Report) with the resources and expertise required to provide excellent comprehensive health care for our students. This option enables us to continue offering outstanding health care options to students, while reducing costs for the university and allowing us to devote more time and resources to our core educational mission.
Northwestern Medicine shares our commitment to offering high-quality care for NIU students of all genders and has the resources, expansive network and expertise to do so. They are a community partner with a very strong presence as the primary health care provider in DeKalb County.
The clinic will now be able to accept students on a walk-in basis rather than appointment only. It also will offer more flexible hours at a wider variety of times, including lunch hours and earlier and later hours on certain days. Northwestern Medicine offers an integrated medical health record for students that will be available to doctors across their system, including at Kishwaukee Hospital, which will provide for more seamless continuity of care.
One of the unique innovations included in this agreement is the creation of a pilot program allowing NIU students to receive the services available to them on campus at Northwestern Medicine clinics in Chicago and Naperville beginning in the 2019 academic year.
The cost will be paid through the student health fee assessed to students per credit hour, similar to the current arrangement. Student health fees are expected to decline from $7.88 per credit hour this year to $7.49 (-.39 cents) per credit hour next year.
Last year, the clinic saw just over 12,000 students and wrote more than 2,200 prescriptions. The clinic provides a level of care on par with that found in an urgent care facility or primary care physicians office—lab, diagnostic, radiography and limited medical services for some minor injuries and illnesses, e.g., care for respiratory infections, ear and eye infections, asthma, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), dermatitis, etc.
The Student Health Fee covers offerings available through NIU Health Services, which provides a level of basic outpatient health care similar to what you might find at an urgent care facility or your primary care physician's office—lab, diagnostic, radiography and limited medical services for some minor injuries and illnesses (e.g., care for respiratory infections, ear and eye infections, asthma, STIs, dermatitis, etc.)
Other offerings at Student Health Services include basic women's health care (breast checks, pelvic exams, family planning) and hormone level testing for transgender individuals. The clinic also provides some psychiatry services and may refer students for additional services through on-campus and off-campus providers. Additional services such as immunizations and allergy injections are provided for a fee. Under the new plan with Northwestern Medicine, the clinic will also offer additional services such as suturing.
All of the services currently offered will still be provided with the exception of colposcopies, a rarely utilized procedure that was not covered under the Student Health Fee. Students who require a colposcopy, or other forms of specialized care or procedure not covered in this type of urgent care setting, will be referred to specialists within the Northwestern Medicine system.
Yes. As part of their commitment to the students at NIU, Northwestern Medicine recognizes the importance of addressing the unique needs of the diverse student population. They are committed to providing the same level of care that women attending NIU have come to expect. The clinic will actually be able to facilitate a wider range of women's health care options by referring students to experts throughout the entire Northwestern Health system beyond campus. One significant improvement to service will be seen through improved access to care. Under the Northwestern Medicine model, in addition to being able to schedule an appointment, women will now have the opportunity to be seen without an appointment as a walk-in patient. The clinic will continue to provide a full range of women's health services, including pregnancy tests, pap smears, STI testing and all of the family planning services currently provided will continue, including Depo-Provera injections, IUDs, condoms, Nexplanon and NuvaRing.
The current pharmacy will be replaced by an automated pharmaceutical dispensary, which will be overseen by trained medical professionals who will assist and counsel students. This type of pharmacy is very common within healthcare settings and is used effectively at many Northwestern Medicine facilities.
Yes, it will be in network, as will dozens of other plans accepted by Northwestern Medicine, significantly simplifying billing for students; they already accept NIU's student insurance from Aetna.