Interview with HSHS CEO Discussing HSHS and Prevea Closures

Boatwright, President and CEO of HSHS, recently discussed the closure of HSHS and Prevea locations in western Wisconsin and its implications for rural health care. During an interview with Catholic Health World’s Julie Minda, Boatwright highlighted the fact that more than 60% of vulnerable populations, including Medicaid and Medicare patients, utilized HSHS hospitals. He spoke about efforts made to improve the situation before deciding on closure, such as launching their own insurance company.

Boatwright acknowledged that the market was oversupplied, which contributed to the challenges faced by HSHS. He also mentioned HSHS’s attempts to partner with Catholic systems and non-Catholic partners but none were interested or able to make an agreement. When discussing the community’s reaction to the closures, Boatwright noted that it 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 expressed a sense of responsibility and dedication to ensuring a positive outcome for all involved. Other organizations in similar situations may have simply left the market without considering the impact on the community. Overall, Boatwright highlighted HSHS’s commitment to its values and doing what is right for the community even if it may not have been immediately welcomed.

By Samantha Johnson

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