Northwestern Medicine Student Health Service hopes to improve student access to health services


Daily file photo by Nathan Richards

Searle Hall. Northwestern University Health Clinic and Sports Medicine launched Northwestern Medicine Student Health Services last month to improve student access to health services.

Astry Rodriguez, Reporter

Northwestern University Health Services Clinic and Sports Medicine launched Northwestern Medicine Student Health Service last month to improve student access to the healthcare system. 

The service allows students to manage their healthcare through the use of a common medical record and an online patient portal. Students can access the new MyNM patient portal online or through the app. After their first appointment, students can now view their visit information, medical records, pay their bills and schedule appointments. 

The portal also allows students to add their insurance providers and upload information, such as vaccination records, to their account. Dr. Phillip Roemer, chief medical officer of Northwestern Medical Group, said the portal improves patient-doctor communication.

“They are able to — via that patient portal — communicate directly with their care team electronically and conveniently on their phone, which is a more modern approach and one that most patients have really appreciated,” Roemer said.

All students who use the new health service sign Northwestern Medicine consent forms during their first visit, allowing NM to share their information with healthcare staff.

Feinberg Prof. Lindsay Allen said the new system facilitates improved communication between providers. 

“It’s a way to centralize all of the healthcare information about (students) so that other providers, whenever they see you for the first time, have access,” Allen said.

The integration makes health services more accessible to students by allowing physician and clinical service access at all 714 NM locations. 

Roemer said students can look forward to accessing many specialists, from orthopedics to neurologists. 

The Clinic and Sports Medicine are still a part of the NU community and will maintain the same high quality of patient-centered care,” Vice President for Student Affairs Julie Payne-Kirchmeier said in an email to The Daily. “This integration will enhance student access to comprehensive clinical services and physicians across the Northwestern Medicine health system.” 

Students should contact their insurance carriers to determine whether they are covered for specialty referrals off campus. 

For services not covered by the Student Health Insurance Plan’s annual premium, payments will be accepted using credit card or the MyNM portal. Cash and checks are no longer accepted. Students covered by an insurance plan other than NU-SHIP will no longer need to file insurance claims for clinic services because NM will directly charge their insurance carriers. 

Feinberg Prof. Erin Paquette said she hopes the new system will reduce disparities in healthcare by broadening availability of specialized services at a wider variety of locations.

“Being able to go to certain specialty groups that might not have been open to the student health service previously…will hopefully improve the care that students are able to get,” Paquette said.

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