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April 24, 2018

Leapfrog grades 2,479 hospitals from 'A' to 'F.' How did yours fare?

Daily Briefing

    The Leapfrog Group on Tuesday released its Spring Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grades, giving 750 hospitals an "A" grade but giving more than 1,000 a "C" or below.

    Just updated: Your 1-page guide to understanding Leapfrog's rating metrics and methodologies


    For the rankings, the Leapfrog Group assigned "A" to "F" letter grades to 2,479 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 (AHA) 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.

    How hospitals performed

    In the latest report:

    • 750 hospitals earned an "A";
    • 683 of hospitals earned a "B";
    • 879 of hospitals earned a "C";
    • 145 of hospitals earned a "D"; and
    • 22 earned an "F."

    According to the Leapfrog Group, 49 hospitals have earned an "A" in every update since the rankings inception in spring 2012.

    In addition, Leapfrog said the Spring 2018 list features 46 hospitals that received an "A" for the first time since the rankings began.

    When assessed by state, the Leapfrog data show Hawaii has the highest share of "A" hospitals, followed by:

    1. Idaho;
    2. Rhode Island;
    3. Massachusetts; and
    4. Virginia.

    By contrast, North Dakota, Delaware, and Alaska ranked at the bottom of the list, with no "A" hospitals. New York and Maryland ranked 48th and 47th, respectively

    According to Modern Healthcare, urban hospitals generally showed poor performance on safety measures. For instance, only one New York City hospital out of 11 earned an "A." In Los Angeles, three out of 12 hospitals earned an "A." Out of 18 hospitals in Chicago, six earned an "A."


    Leapfrog President and CEO Leah Binder drew attention to hospitals' progress over time. She said, "The national numbers on death and harm in hospitals have alarmed us for decades," but "[w]hat we see in the new round of Safety Grades are signs of many hospitals making significant improvements in their patient safety record."  

    However, Binder also addressed how hospitals nationwide could improve patient safety, saying hospitals could considering them more in value-based purchasing programs. "A lot of the value movement has been aimed at quality outcomes and pricing, and they have overlooked the third leg of the stool, which is safety," Binder said.

    Leapfrog seeks public comments

    Leapfrog on Tuesday also said it will take public comments on two proposed changes to the methodology:

    • Including a bar code medication administration measures; and
    • Lowering the number of points hospitals receive for the computerized physician order entry measure, if the data come from AHA—as Leapfrog considers it a secondary source that is less detailed than the Leapfrog Hospital Survey (Leapfrog Group state rankings, accessed 4/24; Leapfrog Group scoring methodology, accessed 4/24; Leapfrog Group explanation of grades, accessed 4/24; Leapfrog Group release, 4/24; Castellucci, Modern Healthcare, 4/24).

    Get 1-page cheat sheets on other Hospital Quality Rating Programs

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

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