HSHS Closure in Rural Wisconsin: A Look into the Challenges of a Catholic Healthcare System”.

Interview with HSHS CEO discusses closures of HSHS and Prevea locations

HSHS President and CEO Damond Boatwright recently spoke to Catholic Health World’s Julie Minda about the closure of HSHS and Prevea locations in western Wisconsin and its impact on rural healthcare. WEAU has requested to speak with Boatwright but is waiting for a response.

In an interview, Boatwright commented on how vulnerable populations, Medicaid, and Medicare might have played a role in the healthcare dynamics of the region. He said that more than 60% of those populations used HSHS hospitals. Boatwright also mentioned that the organization tried several things to change its situation before deciding on closure, including trying to create its own insurance company.

Boatwright explained that the market was oversupplied, and there were too many health care offerings in the community. The health system tried to identify potential Catholic systems to partner with, offering them right of first refusal. However, none of them were interested or able to take on the burden. As a result, HSHS tried to reach an agreement with a potential non-Catholic partner but couldn’t find one either.

According to Minda’s interview with Boatwright, HSHS left the area after going through five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining and eventually acceptance. When asked about their departure from the area, Boatwright said that many other organizations in similar circumstances would have just left without any regard for the collateral damage caused by this decision. However, HSHS reached out to other health care providers to collaborate on patient transitions and early on reached out to elected officials as well. Boatwright emphasized that his organization wanted to lead with their values and do what was right even though people may not have been ready for this change.

Leave a Reply