Frequently Asked Questions for Health Services

Students and families often have questions about Health Services. Below you will find some of the most commonly asked questions, along with answers.

General Health Services Information
Appointments
EMS
Health Insurance & Cost Concerns
Pharmacy, Lab & X-ray
Referrals, off campus providers, and specialists
Sexual Health & GYN
Vaccines & Travel

General Health Services Information

Q. What do Health and Wellness services include?

Health and Wellness Services at Brown includes 4 offices, all contributing to the health and wellbeing of Brown undergraduate, graduate, and medical students.

  1. Health Services - Medical and nursing visits for urgent and routine care; 24/7 nursing advice. Lab, pharmacy and x-ray services are available onsite (billed to student health insurance). Open 7 days a week when classes are in session.
  2. BWell Health Promotion - BWell provides strong, effective and culturally relevant health promotion services to support individual and community well-being and a healthy learning environment. Services include public health campaigns, workshops and trainings, peer education programs, and individual appointments. Learn more at www.brown.edu/bwell.
  3. Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) - CAPS provides a range of mental health services to the Brown community, including individual counseling, medication management, skills workshops, referral services, mental health assessment, crisis stabilization, after hours assessment and urgent care, outreach programming, and support groups. Call 401-863-3476 to schedule an appointment. Visit brown.edu/caps for more information.
  4. Emergency Medical Services - 24/7 emergency care to the campus community. Visit brown.edu/ems for more information.

Q. Where are the different Health and Wellness services located?

Health Services, BWell Health Promotion and EMS are located at 13 Brown Street, on the corner of Brown and Charlesfield Streets. CAPS is located on the 5th floor of J Walter Wilson.

Q. What does my Health Services fee cover? Will I have to pay to use Health Services?

Your Health Services fee covers any visit with any provider at Brown Health Services, as well as services and visits with BWell Health Promotion and CAPS. It also covers the use of Brown emergency medical services (BEMS), which means calling BEMS doesn't cost you any money, nor does receiving a ride with BEMS to UHS or the hospital.

Your health insurance will only be charged if you need a lab test, prescription, or x ray - otherwise there will be no cost for your visit to Health Services, CAPS, BWell, or services from BEMS.

Q. Do I need an appointment or can I just walk in?

If you know you would like to be seen, please call 401-863-3953 for an appointment. Same day appointments are almost always available. If you are not sure if you need to be seen or if you have questions, a nurse is always available to speak to you by phone (401-863-1330) or in person to work with you to decide how you would be best served.

Q. How can I get to Health Services if I don't feel well enough to walk myself?

Call EMS! Brown EMS can transport patients around Brown's campus to UHS during normal UHS business hours, free of charge! You can either call ahead to schedule a pickup with UHS or can call the DPS at 401-863-4111 and they will dispatch BEMS to your location.

Q. Will I see a doctor?

Health Services staff providers include Doctors, Nurse Practitioners, and Physician Assistants.

Q. Will my parents know if I go to Health Services?

Health Services places a high value on confidentiality. This means that information in your medical records or even the fact that you've visited Health Services cannot be released to anyone without your written permission (this includes parents, partners, friends, professors, advisors, etc.). There are a few exceptions when information is required to be released without your written consent -- these are in cases of serious emergencies or when required by law.

Another thing to be aware of is that, if your health insurance is billed (during a visit to Health Services this would only happen for lab tests, prescriptions, or xray), your insurance provider may send an explanation of benefits (EOB) to the policy subscriber, often a parent. If you have Brown insurance, you are the subscriber for the policy and correspondence will be sent to you at your campus address unless you change your preferences with the company. If you have other insurance, you can call the customer service number on your insurance card to ask what their EOB procedure is.

Your medical provider can address any confidentiality questions or concerns you may have during your visit. 

Q. What do I do if Health Services is closed?

For medical advice, call 401-863-1330 to speak to an after-hours off site Nurse for advice. If it is an emergency, call EMS at 401-862-4111 -- when you are on campus, don't call 911 as this will delay receipt of emergency services.

back to top

Appointments

Q. How do I make a medical appointment at Health Services?

Call 401-863-3953. This phone number is also on the back of your student ID.

Q. Where do I go when I enter the Health Services building for a medical appointment?

Come in the front or side door at 13 Brown Street (our side door has a ramp and is accessible, our front door has a few steps to walk up) and sign in at one of the computers using your student ID. The check in system will tell you who you will be seeing and what floor to proceed to for your appointment.

Q. How do I make an appointment with the Dietitian?

Brown students can make an appointment with the Dietitian by calling 401-863-3558.

Q. What will my visit to Health Services be like?

To get an idea of what our building looks like, please take a few minutes to watch this video tour of our offices and services.

The specifics of your visit will depend on what you are being seen for. If you have a GYN appointment, you can learn more about what to expect here. If you have an appointment for STI testing, you can learn more about what to expect on this page.

Q. Do I need an appointment or can I just walk in?

If you know you would like to be seen, please call 401-863-3953 for an appointment. Same day appointments are almost always available. If you are not sure if you need to be seen or if you have questions, a nurse is always available to speak to you by phone (401-863-1330) or in person to work with you to decide how you would be best served.

Q. Will I see a doctor?

Health Services staff providers include Doctors, Nurse Practitioners, and Physician Assistants.

Q. How should I follow up with my provider after my visit?

After you have been seen at Health Services, you can communicate with your provider via secure message on the Patient Portal  or by calling Health Services at 401.863-3953.

Do not send messages to your provider via email, as this is not a secure, confidential form of communication.

back to top

EMS

Q. What/Who is Brown EMS?

Brown EMS is a student-run volunteer ambulance that serves and provides free emergency medical care to the Brown community, exclusively. For more information, please visit the EMS website.

Q. How can I get to Health Services if I don't feel well enough to walk myself?

Call EMS! Brown EMS can transport patients around Brown's campus to UHS during normal UHS business hours, free of charge! You can either call ahead to schedule a pickup with UHS or can call the DPS at 401-863-4111 and they will dispatch BEMS to your location.

Q. What do I do if Health Services is closed?

For medical advice, call 401-863-1330 to speak to an after-hours off site Nurse for advice. If it is an emergency, call EMS at 401-862-4111 -- when you are on campus, don't call 911 as this will delay receipt of emergency services.

Q. If Brown EMS is not available and an outside ambulance is called what will it cost? What do I do if I take an outside ambulance and get a bill?

Whenever possible, Alert Ambulance is called for all non-BEMS transports. Our contract with Alert guarantees that all Brown students are billed a flat $300 rate for any transport, no matter what level of care is required. (Other ambulance service charges can range from $500-$1200 per transport.)

Any ambulance costs can be billed to insurance, but co-pays will vary depending on your insurance. You will need to submit the ambulance bill to your insurance company for reimbursement. If you are not sure how to do this, call the customer service number on your insurance card.

back to top

 

Health Insurance and Cost Concerns

Q. What if I don't have the Brown Student Health Insurance?

As long as you have paid a Health Services fee (required as part of your tuition and fees), you can see a provider at Brown Health Services or in CAPS regardless of the health insurance plan you are covered by.

Q. What does my Health Services fee cover? Will I have to pay to use Health Services?

Your Health Services fee covers any visit with any provider at Brown Health Services, as well as services and visits with BWell Health Promotion and CAPS. It also covers the use of Brown emergency medical services (BEMS), which means calling BEMS doesn't cost you any money, nor does receiving a ride with BEMS to UHS or the hospital.

Your health insurance will only be charged if you need a lab test, prescription, or x ray - otherwise there will be no cost for your visit to Health Services, CAPS, BWell, or services from BEMS.

Q. What is the Summer Health Services fee?

The summer health fee allows you to access care at Health Services, BWell, or CAPS between the end of May and the end of August each year. The summer fee is not charged for immunization, lab and pharmacy visits unless a provider or therapist appointment is necessary.
Learn more here.

In certain situations, students may be unable to pay the Summer Health Fee in full or at all. In this case, the student may contact Kristie Sullivan, Assistant Director of Health Services or Wendy Impagliazzo, Financial/Administrative Coordinator of CAPS to review the available options.

Q. What does prior authorization mean?

Prior Authorization (PA) is a requirement that your provider obtain permission from your health insurance company to obtain a medication or specific medical service. If a service you need requires prior authorization, Health Services staff will assist you with this process.

Q. If Brown EMS is not available and an outside ambulance is called what will it cost? What do I do if I take an outside ambulance and get a bill?

Whenever possible, Alert Ambulance is called for all non-BEMS transports. Our contract with Alert guarantees that all Brown students are billed a flat $300 rate for any transport, no matter what level of care is required. (Other ambulance service charges can range from $500-$1200 per transport.)

Any ambulance costs can be billed to insurance, but co-pays will vary depending on your insurance. You will need to submit the ambulance bill to your insurance company for reimbursement. If you are not sure how to do this, call the customer service number on your insurance card.

Q. Who can I talk to about a medical bill if I'm concerned about cost of service or an insurance bill I have received?

You can call Health Services at 401-863-3953 and request to speak to a Health Services staff person about your bill.

If you have the Brown student health insurance plan, you may also contact the Office of Insurance at 401-863-1703.

back to top

Pharmacy, Lab & X-Ray

Q. I have express script for prescriptions. Can I use that at the pharmacy?

Yes. Our pharmacy accepts most insurances. Please check your policy so that you are aware of the extent of your coverage and bring your insurance and prescription plan cards (or a copy) with you to the pharmacy.

Q. When lab work is ordered by a Health Services provider or outside doctor, where do I go and will it be covered?

You can have lab work drawn right at Brown Health Services using the Lifespan lab system or at any of the local labs in the Providence area. Coverage will depend on your insurance plan. If you have Brown health insurance, the in-house Lifespan lab is covered. For other insurance plans, call the 800 number on your card to find out which laboratories are in network for your plan.

Q. Where can I get an x-ray and will my insurance cover the cost of the x-ray done at Brown Health Services?

If our provider orders an x-ray, you can get it at Brown Health Services or locally in the Providence area. The Brown Insurance does cover the cost of x-rays at Brown Health Services. If you have a private plan you can have the x-ray here and submit the bill to your insurance company or you can choose to go to an outside imaging service. We can help you locate outside x-ray services.

back to top

Referrals, off campus providers, and specialists

Q. How will I get to an off campus appointment?

Options for transportation to an off campus appointment include public transportation (RIPTA), Uber or Lyftt, or Health Services can provide a cab voucher and charge it to your bursar bill.

Q. How do I see a specialist in the area? If I am referred to a specialist (Orthopedics, Gastroenterology, Neurology, Ophthalmology) what will it cost?

Come in to Health Services first, we can get you in for an appointment. We'll help you find someone covered by your insurance. In some cases you will need a referral. The cost will depend on your insurance. You will need to call the 800 number on your health insurance card to find out the copay for specialist visits. If you have Brown Insurance it usually is a $15 copay.

back to top

Sexual Health and GYN

Q. Can I get birth control and STI testing ?

Yes. Give us a call at 401-863-3953 and ask for an appointment to get birth control and/or testing for sexually transmitted infections.There is no charge for visits and in most cases birth control methods and many STI tests are available without the need for a physical exam.

Q. Can I come to Health Services for GYN care?

Yes. All of our providers have training and experience in routine GYN care, including pelvic exams and pap smears. If you need more specialized GYN care, we can offer you a referral to a local GYN provider.

Q. What will my visit to Health Services be like?

To get an idea of what our building looks like, please take a few minutes to watch this video tour of our offices and services.

The specifics of your visit will depend on what you are being seen for. If you have a GYN appointment, you can learn more about what to expect here. If you have an appointment for STI testing, you can learn more about what to expect on this page.

Q. Will my parents know if I go to Health Services?

Health Services places a high value on confidentiality. This means that information in your medical records or even the fact that you've visited Health Services cannot be released to anyone without your written permission (this includes parents, partners, friends, professors, advisors, etc.).

There are a few exceptions when information is required to be released without your written consent -- these are in cases of serious emergencies or when required by law. Your medical provider can address any confidentiality questions or concerns you may have during your visit.

back to top

Vaccines & Travel

Q. Can I get vaccines I need at Health Services? What will it cost?

Yes. Most vaccines are available and many vaccines are available without an out of pocket cost. Call Nursing at 401-863-1330 for more information or with any questions.

Q. Can I get Travel vaccines at Brown Health Services? Are there any costs associated with these vaccines?

Yes, you can get most Travel vaccines at Brown Health Services. Brown Health Insurance and most other health insurance plans may cover some of the oral vaccines/preventative drug. treatments, but usually do not cover injectable travel vaccines. 

back to top