Citing dire finances, Providence shutters 27 Southern California retail clinics

Twenty-seven Southern California retail clinics are the latest victims of Providence’s struggling finances.

The ExpressCare clinics were closed to patient care Nov. 17 “after careful review in alignment with our core values,” a representative of the nonprofit health system confirmed in an email.

The system does not believe the closures will limit care access, the representative said, as the brand’s virtual services will still be available alongside other same-day options within their communities such as urgent care clinics and primary care.

“The national healthcare labor shortage, inflation, global supply chain disruptions, lower than budgeted volumes and a highly competitive retail health industry have resulted in unprecedented operating losses for Providence ExpressCare retail clinics in Southern California,” the representative wrote.

The Washington-based system's broader operations have been drowning under these types of pressures throughout the course of 2022. While Providence has consistently signaled that it’s in need of more front-line staff, it also sought to trim its expenses over the summer through a broad reorganization that claimed an unspecified number of leadership positions.

Third-quarter earnings numbers released last week suggest that Providence was able to stem some of the bleeding, though its operations were still $164 million below even. Across all of 2022, the 51-hospital nonprofit has lost $1.1 billion (-5.6% margin) from its operations.

The shutdown of the clinics impacts medical assistants, advanced practice clinicians and leadership roles, the representative said. Providence is “confident” that new positions can be found for any of the assistants or clinicians looking to stay with the organization, though it was mum on prospects for the latter.

“We are collaborating with these individuals to transition them to open positions within the Providence family of organizations,” the representative said.

Providence’s Southern California presence has seen some upheaval during the last year. The Catholic system ended its nearly decadelong affiliation arrangement with Orange County, California-based Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian in January. Perhaps to compensate, it also shared plans in September to invest more than $700 million into new and existing hospital infrastructure across the same region.