Wisconsin’s governor and the state’s Health Services boss are trying to link a lack of a Medicaid expansion in the state to the decision to close two hospitals in western Wisconsin.
Governor Evers and DHS Secretary Kirsten Johnson were in Eau Claire yesterday, where they said the decision from HSHS and Prevea to close their hospitals and clinics leave patients in the Chippewa Valley with fewer choices. The governor then tried to link a lack of Medicaid expansion to that decision to close. He said hospitals across the state need more money, and he said expanding Medicaid to cover more single, childless men would bring-in more money. Meanwhile, HSHS and Prevea said they were forced to close because of inflation, workforce issues, the pandemic, and other industry-wide trends.
What’s next? Eau Claire’s public health managers are not sure what will happen after HSHS and Prevea close this spring.
The city/county health department yesterday said it is ‘learning about’ the plan to close Sacred Heart Hospital in Eau Claire, and Prevea clinics throughout the county. The health department says its ‘staff will be involved in considering what our role might be in the coming weeks and months.’ Once the county has a plan, the health department says, they will share it with the public.