Franciscan nixes Carmel care center but prepares to open another in downtown Indy

February 19, 2018

For the second time in 18 months, Franciscan Health is closing an urgent-care center in central Indiana, a move it blames on low walk-in volumes.

The Catholic health system closed its ExpressCare center at Village Park Plaza in Carmel on Saturday. It said the center’s 13 employees would be transferred to another location in the area and that no layoffs would occur.

“Volume had been shrinking for some time,” Franciscan spokesman Joe Stuteville said. “The site was located in a very congested area.”

Construction work on nearby U.S. 31 had added to congestion and made it difficult for patients to get to the center. The center had opened in 2012.

The move comes less than two years after Franciscan closed an ExpressCare center in the Nora business district in the north side of Indianapolis.

Franciscan still has two other urgent-care centers in the Indianapolis area: in Greenwood and at Thompson Commons near Beech Grove. On Feb. 26, it plans to open yet another location: a temporary ExpressCare center at the CityWay apartment-and-retail complex just south of Bankers Life Fieldhouse downtown. Later this summer, it will relocate that center to nearby CityWay II, when that project is completed.

Hospital systems have been opening urgent-care centers at a fast clip, using the small storefront locations as a way to expand revenue, reduce demand on their emergency rooms, and get patients into their networks with a relatively modest investment.

Urgent-care centers are designed to quickly diagnose and treat non-life-threatening illnesses and injuries, such as ear infections, sprains, cuts and vomiting. Most clinics are in high-visibility retail centers and offer extended hours.

In the past two years, IU Health has opened six urgent-care centers: in Greenwood, Brownsburg, Lawrence, Plainfield, Noblesville and Broad Ripple.

Community Health has opened seven MedCheck sites: in Anderson, Carmel, Castleton, Indianapolis, Greenwood, Noblesville and Speedway.

St. Vincent has opened more than a dozen urgent-care centers, stretching from Zionsville to Brownsburg.


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