Regional Leadership In The Leapfrog Group

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Leading the way in SE Texas on promoting ongoing transparency in hospital safety reporting.


HBCH is the greater Houston market regional leader for The Leapfrog Group. Through this partnership, HBCH is a resource for its members by providing hospital safety information that assists their covered lives self-navigate to high- quality hospitals which is directly correlated with costs and patient experience.

Making benefits decisions on hospitals based on anything but contract price and claims data is difficult. Case in point: 440,000 people die annually due to preventable hospital errors, and when errors happen in the hospital, employers pay the price in more ways than one. Beyond the harm and suffering to your employees, employers and other purchasers pay an average of $8,000 per hospital admission for errors, injuries, accidents and infections. 

The Leapfrog Group, a national nonprofit organization representing the nation’s largest and most influential employers and purchasers of health care, is driving a movement towards improved quality and safety of American health care by providing useful information on the safety reporting of hospitals.  This reporting illustrates the hospital’s ability to protect patients from avoidable errors, injuries, accidents and infections,

Developed under the guidance of a National Expert Panel, the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade uses 28 measures of publicly available hospital safety data to assign the grades to U.S. hospitals twice per year.  It is non-voluntary for any hospital that receives federal funds. The Hospital Safety Grade’s methodology is peer-reviewed and fully transparent, and the results are free to the public.  HBCH posts these grades on its website.

The voluntary Leapfrog Hospital Survey results are used to educate purchasers about the quality and safety of hospitals in their community so that they can identify the best facilities for their employees' health care needs and work with health plans to design benefits packages that steer employees towards the safest and highest quality hospitals. 

“Our employer purchasers want to transparently work with Houston hospitals to continually improve safety and the patient experience,” said Chris Skisak, PhD, HBCH executive director. “The cost of health care is directly linked to hospital safety and quality of delivery.” HBCH provides insights, promotion and tools from The Leapfrog Group such as a cost calculator, communication tools and templates.

Ongoing Results

Spring 2019 Safety Grade: On the spring semiannual report, Texas fell from the fifth spot nationally to the ninth due to lower letter grades compared to the fall of 2018. In the Houston area 34 hospitals were graded, with 13 earning an A, ten a B and eleven a C.

2018 Hospital Survey: Forty-five (45) of 54 Houston area hospitals, 83%, submitted data for the 2018 survey.  While the number submitting data is laudable, HBCH will be focused going forward on encouraging complete vs. [atrial submission.    

White Paper “Steering Employees Toward Safer Care”

Leapfrog Regional Leader

By Wendy Lynch, Ph.D. and Brad Smith, Ph.D.
Co-Directors, Altarum Center for Consumer Choice in Health Care