Critics claim Leapfrog Group’s grades are based on outdated information, penalize teaching hospitals
While the scores are welcomed by healthcare advocates like NJHCQI, and praised by hospitals that do well, the process has sparked some criticism from facilities that said it does not reflect their efforts or outcomes. Others note that Leapfrog’s findings don’t necessarily align with the results of other surveys, like the Hospital Quality Star Rating system developed by the, which critics said penalizes teaching hospitals and safety-net facilities.“The Leapfrog letter grades are based on data that is one year outdated and are based on a methodology that is controversial,” said Stacie Newton, who heads public affairs at University Hospital, in Newark. The hospital always strives to improve outcomes, she said, and is working to revamp its data collection methods to help improve scores in the future.
Dr. Claudia Komer, the chief medical officer at Saint Michael’s, noted that the Leapfrog report reflects some data that predates the takeover by Prime Healthcare, which received final state approval in May.
“As with all Prime Healthcare hospitals, we share the goals and high performance encouraged by Leapfrog,” Komer said. “In the areas of the Leapfrog report that cover a more recent period under Prime Healthcare’s ownership, the report shows we have made vast improvements in our processes in a short period of time.”
Schwimmer praised New Jersey’s hospitals for their “strong participation” in the process, which provides a wealth of additional data that Leapfrog shares to help organizations like the Quality Institute craft patient-safety initiatives. Facilities that have received low letter grades, “these are hospitals that have been in transition from a financial position or from an ownership position,” she said.