Appointment Availability Standards

Appointment Availability Standards

Appointment availability standards

  • What are appointment availability standards?
  • How do you as a provider with Texas Children’s Health Plan play a role?

In 2015 Senate Bill 760 passed, requiring Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) to monitor the provider networks of managed care organizations. Texas Children’s Health Plan would like to ensure members are able to schedule appointments with providers in accordance with the HHSC’s appointment accessibility guidelines.


AFTER HOURS: Primary Care Physicians Accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week, must return call within 30 minutes.

Acceptable: Telephone is answered after-hours by answering service and meets the language requirement of the major population groups which can contact the PCP or another designated medical practitioner. All calls answered by an answering service must be returned within 30 minutes.

The office telephone is answered after normal business hours by a recording in the language of each of the major population groups served, directing the patient to call another number to reach the PCP or another Provider designated by the PCP. Someone must be available to answer the Designated Provider’s telephone. Any other recording is not acceptable.

The office telephone is transferred after office hours to another location where someone will answer the telephone and be able to contact the PCP or another designated medical practitioner, who can return the call within 30 minutes.

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