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Leapfrog Group Decries Possible Rollback of Patient Safety Measures

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As CMS proposes to alter how it reports patient safety data, the Leapfrog Group released a report saying more hospitals are reporting infections since 2015. The percentage of hospitals taking part in Leapfrog’s survey that reported zero infections has fallen dramatically since 2015. Leapfrog measures hospitals on 5 healthcare-acquired infections (HAIs), and while most take part in the survey, not all do. The rating organization called the trend troubling, saying it puts patients at higher risk for numerous complications and longer recoveries. Most hospitals responding to the 2017 Leapfrog Hospital Survey had fewer infections than would have been expected. But some facilities still have extremely high standardized infection ratios (SIRs), the report said. To track these infections, Leapfrog relies on these SIRs, which are adjusted for risk factors that may impact infection rates, allowing for comparisons among diverse hospitals.

In a rare action alert sent last week, Leapfrog said the proposed rule change by CMS would remove 15 critical measures from the Inpatient Quality Reporting Program (IQR), a federal program that publicly reports safety and quality information by hospitals. The IQR was established by statute in 2005 in response to calls for increased transparency about patient safety. Under the IQR, hospitals are paid by Medicare to report on errors, injuries, and infections, and that information is publicly reported for patients and others in Hospital Compare.

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