Massachusetts Public Health Council Approves Rules For Limited Service Medical Clinics


Boston, MA  (CompNewsNetwork) - The Massachusetts Public Health Council (PHC) today approved regulations allowing for Limited Service Medical Clinics in Massachusetts. The Council voted to approve the new rules at its monthly meeting in Boston. The new regulations take effect immediately.

"I appreciate the Public Health Council taking a proactive and thoughtful approach to this issue," said Secretary of Health and Human Services Dr. JudyAnn Bigby. "This is a new model for health care delivery that can benefit many people in the Commonwealth. These regulations will improve consumer convenience and make it easier for non-profit organizations to establish satellite clinics in a variety of settings to serve vulnerable populations."

Dr. Bigby also noted that having specific regulations in place for Limited Service Clinics will allow the Department of Public Health to better monitor the care delivered at such clinics and recommend licensure changes, if necessary.

John Auerbach, Commissioner of the Department of Public Health (DPH) and Chair of the PHC added, "Properly regulated, these types of clinics will serve an important function, making care for minor medical care more convenient. The Council was mindful of not wanting to create a stand-alone system of health care, so these regulations require coordination and linkages to primary care providers."

Today's approval comes at the end of a long review process that included two public hearings and the submission of hundreds of pages of testimony in favor of and in opposition to the regulations. DPH's Bureau of Health Care Safety and Quality will process applications for licensure and enforce rules established by the new regulations.

The move toward developing specialized regulations was prompted by CVS Corporation's application to open a "Minute Clinic" in one of the chain stores in Weymouth. Early in the application review process, it became clear that DPH regulations governing medical clinics did not address the operation of medical clinics with limited scopes of services. Rather than consider applications requiring numerous waivers from full-service clinic regulations, the Department decided to develop a specialized set of rules.

For more information on the Limited Service Clinic regulations please visit the DPH web site at or call the Department's Bureau of Health Care Quality at (617) 753-8100.

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