Physician-owned network hopes to fill gaps left by 2 Wisconsin hospital closures

 OakLeaf Medical Network, a physician-owned network based in Eau Claire, Wis., plans to open four clinics in Wisconsin following the closure of two hospitals.  

Springfield, Ill.-based Hospital Sisters Health System closed Chippewa Falls, Wis.-based St. Joseph's Hospital and Eau Claire, Wis.-based Sacred Heart Hospital on March 22.  

The OakLeaf clinics, which will open between May 1 and May 13, will be located in Cornell, Ladysmith, Menomonie and Rice Lake, all in Wisconsin, according to a March 28 news release from the organization.

While OakLeaf was trying to open new hospitals in the region, it ran into obstacles as the Affordable Care Act banned new physician-owned hospitals, The Chippewa Herald reported April 2. In lieu of the hospitals, OakLeaf planned to create a community hospital managed by a board — that way, the organization would not own the hospitals. 

Additionally, multiple regional health centers HSHS operates with Green Bay, Wis.-based Prevea Health will end services April 2.  

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