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October 31, 2017

Leapfrog grades 2,632 hospitals from 'A' to 'F.' How did yours fare?

Daily Briefing

    The Leapfrog Group on Tuesday released its Fall Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grades, giving roughly 830 hospitals an "A"—but giving more than 1,100 a "C" or below.

    Get the cheat sheets: How hospital quality ratings programs work

    About the rankings

    For the rankings, the Leapfrog Group assigned "A" to "F" letter grades to 2,632 hospitals based on their performance on 12 process and structural measures and 15 outcome measures. The group used data from CMS, the Leapfrog Hospital Survey, and secondary data sources such as the American Hospital Association's Annual Survey.

    The Leapfrog ratings, which are updated twice a year, focus on acute-care hospitals and exclude facilities such as critical access hospitals, specialty hospitals, and federal hospitals because of missing data. However, for the first time, the rankings now include Maryland hospitals. According to the Leapfrog Group, Leapfrog had been unable to rank Maryland hospitals in the past because they were exempt from "key" national safety reporting requirements.

    Key findings

    Of the 2,632 hospitals ranked in the latest report:

    • 832 earned an "A";
    • 662 earned a "B";
    • 964 earned a "C";
    • 159 earned a "D"; and
    • 15 earned an "F."

    According to the Leapfrog Group, 59 hospitals have earned an "A" in every update since the rankings inception in spring 2012.

    When assessed by state, Rhode Island has the highest share of "A" hospitals, followed by:

    • Maine;
    • Hawaii;
    • Idaho; and
    • Virginia.

    By contrast, the states with the lowest share of "A" hospitals are:

    • Delaware;
    • North Dakota;
    • Washington, D.C.;
    • Maryland; and
    • New York.

    The Leapfrog Group also highlighted states that have shown significant improvement since the ratings began, including No. 1-ranked Rhode Island, which had come in 50th in 2012. Other states that the Leapfrog Group said have shown significant improvement since 2012 include:

    • Oregon, which went from 48th to eighth;
    • Hawaii, which went from 36th to third;
    • Wisconsin, which went from 44th to sixth; and
    • Idaho, which went from 19th to fourth.

    Leapfrog CEO Leah Binder said the improvements are in part due to advocacy from local organizations. For instance, Hawaii, Oregon, and Wisconsin have coalitions focused on safety within local communities and hospitals.

    Binder said, "What we've learned is that transparency has a real impact on patient safety. By making the Hospital Safety Grades public, we've galvanized major changes in these states and many communities." She added, "Not only does it require dedication from national organizations, such as Leapfrog, to make this information public, but also from local coalitions, regional leaders, employers, business leaders, and other community organizations to work with these hospitals and their communities to improve the quality and safety of health care" (Leapfrog release, 10/31; O'Donnell, USA Today, 10/31; Leapfrog scoring methodology, accessed 10/31; Leapfrog explanation of grades, accessed 10/31).

    Get the cheat sheets: How hospital quality ratings programs work

    Download our one page sheets for summaries on the methodology and metric categories used in five hospital quality rating programs:

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