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Good news for Maine, bad news for DC: Where hospitals got the best Leapfrog scores

May 1, 2015

    Clare Rizer, The Daily Briefing

    Forty-five hospitals saw a change of at least two letter grades in the Leapfrog Group Hospital Safety Scores released on Thursday—but not all the changes were positive.

    While 33 of those hospitals saw a significant jump in their scores, 12 saw marked declines in their scores. And it's easier than ever to see those trends: Leapfrog has started displaying every grade that a hospital has received since the group first started scoring hospital safety in June 2012.

    Get the breakdown: How did Leapfrog grade your hospital?

    Breaking down performance by state, the Leapfrog Group found that the state with the highest percentage of A-grade hospitals—Maine—has remained unchanged since the fall. But it noted some interesting changes in other states' performances on the report card.

    According to Leapfrog, the states with the highest percentage of A-grade hospitals in the latest report are:

    1. Maine (where 61% of hospitals received an A)
    2. Massachusetts (52%)
    3. Virginia (48%)
    4. Florida (47%)
    5. New Jersey (44%)

    Since October, Maine, Massachusetts, and Virginia have retained their respective positions in the top three, while Florida and New Jersey switched places. But just one year ago, Illinois, Hawaii, and South Dakota were ranked in the top five alongside Maine and Massachusetts. Since then, the three states have fallen farther down the rankings—with South Dakota plunging to 22nd place.

    From our expert: How to think about hospital rankings

    Meanwhile, the states with the lowest percentage of A-grade hospitals are:

    1. District of Columbia (where 0% of hospitals received an A)
    1. North Dakota (0%)
    1. Alaska (0%)
    4. Mississippi (6%)
    5. Arkansas (7%)

    For the fourth consecutive time, none of the six Leapfrog-rated hospitals in Washington, D.C., received an A. Moreover, no District hospitals received a grade higher than a C. Leapfrog Group's Erica Mobley says, "This is an indication that hospitals in the District just aren't placing a priority on patient safety."

    North Dakota and Alaska also had no hospitals receive an A-grade.

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