HSHS and Prevea Closure: How Rural Healthcare Is Being Impacted and What This Means for the Future

Interview with HSHS CEO discusses closures of HSHS and Prevea locations

HSHS and Prevea are closing their locations in western Wisconsin, leaving rural areas with fewer healthcare options. Damond Boatwright, the President and CEO of HSHS, spoke to Catholic Health World’s Julie Minda about the closure and what it means for rural healthcare. Boatwright explained that more than 60% of vulnerable populations in the region used HSHS hospitals. He also discussed efforts made by the organization to change its situation before deciding on closure, including creating its own insurance company. However, these efforts were not successful due to an oversupply of health care options in the area.

According to Minda’s interview with Boatwright, HSHS tried to identify potential Catholic systems to partner with and offered them right of first refusal. When none were interested or able to, the health system tried to reach an agreement with a potential non-Catholic partner but couldn’t. Boatwright commented that the reaction of the impacted communities mirrored the five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining and eventually acceptance.

Boatwright also discussed how other organizations may have just left the market without any regard for collateral damage caused by this decision. However, HSHS wanted to continue leading with its values and do the right thing even though people may not have been ready for this transition. The health system reached out to elected officials and other healthcare providers early on in the process to collaborate on patient transitions.

Leave a Reply