“LIMITED SERVICE” HEALTH CLINICS
The Board of State Examiners of Plumbers and Gas Fitters ("Board") voted to adopt the following policy guidelines. These policy guidelines are intended to address the recent creation of “limited services” clinics.
The Department of Public Health recently promulgated regulations creating a type of clinic, known as “limited services” clinics, which can be placed inside retail stores. Pursuant to 248 CMR 10.10 (Table 1), the addition of a “limited service” clinic will change the plumbing use group of that portion of a retail store in which a Limited Services Clinic is located to that of a medical/health care building. Due to the unique nature of these facilities, along with the fact that they are, primarily being added to preexisting retail establishments, the Board of State Examiners of Plumbers and Gas Fitters has voted today to adopt the following policy guidelines to waive a small number of requirements in the plumbing code for these facilities.
Per G.L. c. 142, §13, the Board is charged with adopting regulations regarding the “construction, alteration, repair and inspection of plumbing” in all cities and towns. Per new initiatives by the Department of Public Health, existing establishments which have been classified as “Retail” or “Employee (Non-Industrial)” per 248 CMR 10.10 (18) (Table 1) may now add a “limited services clinic” per regulations located at 105 CMR 140.000 (in effect 2/8/08) changing the plumbing use group for the dedicated clinic space to “medical/health care buildings.” Pursuant to its statutory authority, the Board has voted to treat these limited services clinics in a uniform manner and allow them to be exempt, with conditions, from certain provisions of the medical/health care building use group without need of a variance, provided, however, that such clinics shall meet the following requirements:
FOR RETAIL ESTABLISHMENTS CONSTRUCTED PRIOR TO JANUARY 1, 2009
- Toilet facilities installed in compliance with 248 CMR shall be handicap accessible, must be open to the public, and may be located within a locked area of the facility being served or in a common core area within 300 feet of the clinic area so long as there is signage indicating the location of said facilities.
- These establishments need not install showers as otherwise required by 248 CMR 10.10 (18) (Table 1).
- When an exam sink is installed and readily accessible gravity drainage is not available within 10 feet of the sink location, a pump shall be allowed and shall be considered in compliance with 248 CMR section 10.15(10)(a)(2).
- Bottled water dispensers (individual bottles of bottled water do NOT meet this requirement) shall be allowed in lieu of a plumbed-in drinking fountain as listed in 248 CMR section 10.10 (18)(Table 1) and may be located within the existing retail establishment rather than in the clinic’s licensed space.
FOR RETAIL ESTABLISHMENTS CONSTRUCTED AFTER JANUARY 1, 2009
- Limited clinics in future retail establishments need not install showers as otherwise required by 248 CMR 10.10 (18) (Table 1).
- All other plumbing fixtures installed in a future retail establishment adding a limited clinic must meet the provisions of 248 CMR.
 For purposes of this policy, the construction date shall be considered the date a building permit for construction, was issued.