Considerations for Limiting Hours of Operations

Our health center needs to decrease the number of hours our clinic site is open. What items do we need to take into consideration?

 Prior to submitting a Change in Scope to alter the hours of operation of a clinic site, a health center should consider the following:

  1. Does the decrease in the number of hours a site is open have a negative effect on the patient population? Chapter 6 (Accessible Hours of Operation) in the Health Center Program Compliance Manual and Site Visit Protocol, provides specific questions that a health center should consider when taking into account their hours of operations. This includes, but is not limited to, the resources of the health center (workflow and staffing shortages), most requested appointment times, and any other barriers to receiving care.
  2. Has the board of directors approved the change? The health center board of directors have the responsibility to approve any changes to the locations, services, and hours of operations (Chapter 19, Board Authority, Element C). When presenting a change to the hours of operation, it’s important to provide the board with the reason(s) why, how this will this affect patients, and how the health center will work to ensure that access to patient care is not a barrier.

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