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Scope of Project

Your health center’s scope of project includes your health center’s service sites, services, providers, service area, and target populations we approve.

Refer to PIN 2008-01, Defining Scope of Project and Policy for Requesting Changes (PDF - 224 KB), which is the primary health center scope of project policy.

Service sites

A service site is defined as a location where providers:

  • Conduct face-to-face visits with patients and document those encounters in the patients’ medical records.
  • Exercise independent judgment when delivering these services, meaning they, as trained medical or healthcare professionals, can diagnose and treat the patients themselves.
  • Deliver services by, or on behalf of, the health center, which means the health center’s governing board must have control and authority over the services provided at the location.
  • Deliver services on a regularly scheduled basis.

A location that does NOT meet one or more parts of the definition cannot be added as a service site to the health center Scope of Project.


All health centers must provide a set of required primary health care services. In addition, a health center may provide additional health services to meet the needs of its patients.


Providers deliver health care services to patients on behalf of a health center. A health center may directly employ or contract with providers, set up formal arrangements with other organizations, or use volunteer providers.

Service area

A service area is where most of a health center’s current patients live. The health center ensures that the service area has specific boundaries that reduce barriers to care and is a size that allows access to services for everyone living in the area, including identified medically underserved populations in that area.

Target population

Health centers must serve a medically underserved population or one or more special medically underserved populations as their target population. Special medically underserved populations include migratory and seasonal agricultural workers, people experiencing homelessness, and residents of public housing.

Find answers

Search Health Center Program Compliance Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).

Technical Assistance Resources (TARs)

Find more information about key topics.

HRSA Technical Assistance Resource: Family Planning and Related Services in Health Centers  (PDF - 311 KB)

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Call 1–877–464–4772, 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. ET., Monday – Friday (except federal holidays).

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