Interview with HSHS CEO Discussing HSHS and Prevea Closures

HSHS and Prevea hospitals in western Wisconsin will soon close, leaving rural communities without access to healthcare services. Damond Boatwright, President and CEO of HSHS, discussed the implications of this decision in an interview with Catholic Health World’s Julie Minda.

According to Boatwright, more than 60% of vulnerable populations, including Medicaid and Medicare patients, utilized HSHS hospitals. He spoke about efforts made by the organization to improve the situation before deciding on closure, such as launching its own insurance company. However, these efforts were not enough to overcome the challenges faced by HSHS due to an oversupplied market.

Boatwright also mentioned HSHS’s attempts to partner with Catholic systems and non-Catholic partners but none were interested or able to make an agreement. The community’s reaction mirrored the stages of grief, with people moving through denial, anger, bargaining and acceptance.

Despite these challenges, Boatwright emphasized that HSHS took steps to collaborate with other healthcare providers and elected officials to ensure a smooth transition for patients. He highlighted that other organizations in similar situations may have simply left the market without considering the impact on the community. Overall, Boatwright expressed a sense of responsibility and dedication to ensuring a positive outcome for all involved.

By Riley Johnson

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