Health and Counseling Center

The mission of the UNC Asheville Health and Counseling Center is to facilitate the educational experience of students enrolled at UNC Asheville. UNC Asheville recognizes that physical, psychological and social well-being are deeply interconnected, especially as they relate to our students’ ability to learn and serve. The University offers an integrated care approach that combines counseling, medical care, and health and wellness promotion to meet and address the needs of our student population. Strong administrative support for an active and innovative model has allowed UNC Asheville to provide outstanding care and involvement with the university community.

Services

The Health and Counseling Center, has professional staff on duty, who address the range of mental health and medical concerns for currently enrolled students. Office visits and medical examinations are free of charge. However, laboratory services, medications and surgical procedures require a small fee. Health and Counseling Services are not available to faculty, staff, or students who are not enrolled at UNC Asheville. The  Health and Counseling Center offers:

  • individual and group mental health counseling
  • care of acute and chronic illnesses
  • evaluation and treatment of accidental and athletic injuries
  • family planning counseling
  • physical exams for health screening purposes, including pap smears and pelvic exams
  • allergy shots
  • free testing for most sexually transmitted diseases
  • immunizations to meet North Carolina requirements
  • laboratory services such as cholesterol and diabetes screening, pregnancy tests, are available at a reduced price
  • a select inventory of birth control pills, antibiotics and other medications available at a reduced price
  • depression screening and treatment
  • health education services for groups and individuals on topics such as first aid &
  • CPR training, weight control, nutrition, smoking cessation and sexuality issues

Visit the Health and Counseling website for more information.

Hours of Operation

The Health and Counseling Center is open during the fall and spring semesters from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.  The  Health and Counseling Center is closed on University holidays and weekends.

After Hours Care

Students who need medical attention when the Health and Counseling Center is closed should call the Mountain Area Family Health Center at 828.257.4740 for medical concerns. For mental health concerns, call Campus Police at 828.251.6710 (who will contact the UNCA counselor on-call).

Immunizations

The North Carolina General Statute, Chapter 130A, Article 6, Part 2 establishes specific immunization requirements for all students enrolled in NC colleges or universities. It is the responsibility of the Health Services to monitor the immunization records of all students ensuring compliance with state law. Immunization records may be obtained from high physicians, health departments, military records or previously attended colleges. According to North Carolina regulations immunization records from high school transcripts cannot be accepted as proof of immunization.   It is the student’s responsibility to assure compliance with required immunizations prior to registration. Health Services offers the required immunizations for students who are entering a North Carolina university for the first time.

Health Insurance

All degree seeking students who are enrolled in six or more credit hours must demonstrate proof that they are covered under a major health insurance plan. This plan may be through the student’s parents or an individual policy owned by the student. All students who want to apply for the waiver are required to go to bcbsnc.com/unca and provide insurance information, so coverage can be verified.

In the event that a student does not have health insurance, UNC Asheville has a student health plan available through Blue Cross/Blue Shield of North Carolina – StudentBlue.  This plan is offered at reasonable cost each semester. This plan is also available to the dependents and spouses of students. Information about the plan can be found at bcbsnc.com/unca.

Confidentiality & Notice of Privacy Practices

PHI may be used and disclosed for purposes of treatment, payment and health care operations (TPO). TPO are activities related to the provision of medical care, activities related to collecting payment from the patient or a third party, and encompasses functions such as quality improvement, peer review, accreditation, licensing, contracting with insurers, business planning, auditing, and general administration. PHI may be disclosed in certain other situations, as described below, relating to public health and safety. SHAC may also use PHI to contact patients, who have missed appointments, to follow up on test results or to advise them of available treatment alternatives. With some infrequently occurring exceptions, any other disclosure of PHI requires the written authorization of the patient. The following people or entities will have access to PHI:

  • The patient (we require that a member of our staff be present when the patient has the original medical record).
  • Any person to whom the patient has provided written authorization for the release of information.
  • A family member, representative of the patient or other person responsible for the care of the patient may be notified of the patient’s location and general condition, if the patient has given verbal permission. A patient may also give verbal permission to allow another person to pick up prescriptions, supplies, copies of reports, or other similar materials.
  • Parents or legal guardians of a minor, with some exceptions: PHI regarding contraception, pregnancy, sexually transmitted disease, assault, and alcohol use will not be released to parents of guardians without signed authorization by the patient.• SHAC staff will have access for purposes of TPO as indicated below:
  • Nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, physicians and receptionists need access to the entire chart.
  • Cashier’s office and One Card employees need only the date of service and the amount charged to their account.
  • Custodial employees do not have access to PHI. Custodial employees are informed of this policy, and sign a statement acknowledging their understanding of it.
  • Student employees will have limited access to PHI. Staff does not discuss PHI in the presence of student employees. The student worker’s access to medical records will be limited to filing responsibilities. When student employee answers a patient phone call, they ask only for the patient’s name, identification number and phone number, so a staff member can return the call. At the time of their employment, student employees are informed of this policy, and sign a statement acknowledging that they understand it.
  • Student nurses, medical students and medical residents who are receiving clinical training at Student Health Services may participate in patient care and have access to the medical record.
  • The patient’s health insurer or other third party payers, for payment purposes.
  • The companies that support our medical software. (These companies are contractually obligated to maintain the confidentiality of all PHI).
  • Public health services, regulatory officials, and law enforcement agencies, when required by law. Examples include notification to local health department of a reportable infectious disease and disclosure to avert a serious threat to health or safety.
  • Courts when there is a court order.
  • Courts and/or attorneys, when there is a subpoena, discovery request or other lawful processes. When we receive a request of this type, we consult the University General Counsel to assure that all legal conditions are satisfied. We will attempt to inform the patient prior to responding.

Minimum Necessary

In general, use or disclosure of PHI for purposes other than treatment or a disclosure requested by the patient is limited to the minimum necessary. Use of PHI for quality improvement purposes will be limited to the (HCC)  staff and will include the entire medical record. The Privacy Contact will review all non-routine requests for disclosure of PHI to assure that they meet the minimum necessary requirement. The Privacy Contact may consult the Privacy Officer, both of whom are identified below, for assistance in making this determination.

Authorization

Before we use or disclose PHI for purposes not related to TPO, and not required by law, we will attempt to obtain written patient authorization, signed and dated, which the patient has the right to revoke at any time, except to the extent, we have already made disclosures pursuant to their authorization.

Patient Rights Regarding Your Protected Health Information

  • To request limitations to the routine use of PHI for TPO. The request must be in writing. If (HCC)agrees to any limitation, HCC will abide by that agreement except in the case of emergency. If disclosure of PHI is made to another provider in an emergency, HCC will request that no further disclosure or use be made.
  • To obtain a paper copy of this Notice and upon written request submitted to the HAC, inspect and/or obtain a copy of your health record.
  • To request changes in their PHI. HCC  requires that such requests be in writing. If HCC  denies the request, HCC  must provide an explanation and HCC  must also allow the patient to provide a statement of disagreement that will be added to the medical record.
  • To request in writing that HCC  communicates with the patient by a specific method and at a specific location. These may include communicating in person, by letter, email, fax and/or telephone. HCC  will comply with reasonable requests.
  • To request in writing a written list of disclosures made of the patient’s PHI, except for disclosures related to TPO. HCC  will suspend that right of patients to receive an accounting of disclosures to health oversight agencies and law enforcement officials if the agency or official provides a written statement. Written requests must be routed to the Privacy Officer.

Health and Counseling Center Responsibilities

  • Maintain the privacy of patient’s PHI and provide Notice of SHAC legal duties and privacy practices with respect to PHI.
  • Abide by the terms of this Notice and inform the patient of any changes.
  • All staff will receive instruction about the HCC  Privacy Policy.
  • All staff will exert diligence to avoid being overheard when discussing PHI.
  • All records will be kept secured. When the HCC  is open, exposed patient records will not be left unattended in unlocked offices. Custodians will lock each office when they are finished cleaning. Individual charts are either in locked offices, or are in our file area.
  • Access to medical record computers will require a personal code, which will be periodically changed.
  • Written requests to access PHI or change medical records will not be acted on immediately, but will be done in a timely manner.

Administration

  • The HCC  office manager serves as the Privacy Contact.
  • The HCC  administrative director serves as the Privacy Officer.

Contact for Questions/Complaints/Requests

Direct your questions, complaints and requests regarding this Notice to:

Privacy Officer
UNC Asheville Health Services - CPO #2710
1 University Heights
Asheville, NC 28804