UB expands health care options for students

Collaboration with MASH Urgent Care provides students after-hours treatment

The Spectrum

On Thursday, UB announced a new connection with MASH Urgent Care service for students seeking treatment after hours.

The new collaboration is available to students immediately. It will give them transportation to a MASH Urgent Care facility at no charge when UB's health services are closed. Those services are available for students on campus from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Monday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday-Friday (closed on weekends).

MASH centers will be accessible from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday-Friday and 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

"This newly formed partnership with MASH Urgent Care provides a win-win proposition for the UB student and addresses a longstanding issue of after-hours and weekend medical care for our student body," said Vice President for University Life and Services Dennis Black in a press release. "By providing a convenient transportation option for our students to access the several local MASH Urgent Care locations in Western New York, collectively we have provided our students with a logical and convenient choice for their medical needs."

UB signed the 18-month contract with MASH Urgent Care at no cost for either party.

Students still need to use their individual health insurance to pay for the health care they receive at the MASH facilities. Associate Vice President for Student Affairs Barb Ricotta said students should still use the free services on campus when they are open.

Since 2005, UB has been collecting $3.50 from each student for a health fee - a part of the comprehensive fee included in every student's tuition - to fund a student health center on the North Campus. The Spectrum reported that as of the spring 2012 semester, the university held $1,075,000 of student money in the health center reserve. No facility has been built yet.

Ricotta said the connection with MASH Urgent Care does not have any impact on the building of the medical center on North Campus. She said UB made preliminary drawings for the plan and is reviewing them, but there is no word on when construction will begin or a location for the center.

Student Association President Sam McMahon believes the new agreement is another asset the university provides for students.

"I was excited to learn about the MASH Urgent Care partnership with UB," McMahon said in the press release. "Having an after-hours healthcare service is a great supplement to UB's existing healthcare options. I think this service will be immensely valuable to UB student community."

Ricotta said the agreement is still in the "experimental" stage.

"We will be reviewing this at the end of the semester and see if we need make any changes to our agreement with MASH," Ricotta said.

email: news@ubspectrum.com