Breaking News
April 23, 2019 - Workshop explores the future of artificial intelligence in medical imaging
April 23, 2019 - Research shows mindful body awareness training helps women recover from drug addiction
April 23, 2019 - Researchers are developing brand-new method to cure brain tumors
April 23, 2019 - Torrent Pharmaceuticals Limited Expands Voluntary Nationwide Recall of Losartan Potassium Tablets, USP and Losartan Potassium/Hydrochlorothiazide Tablets, USP
April 23, 2019 - First case of person without the protein needed to transport vitamin D identified
April 23, 2019 - Precision-guided anticancer nanoparticles help enhance treatment of peritoneal tumors
April 23, 2019 - Smoking cessation during pregnancy associated with reduced risk of preterm birth
April 23, 2019 - Researchers discover why women get autoimmune diseases far more often than men
April 23, 2019 - New Medicare reimbursement rules provide some relief to safety-net hospitals
April 23, 2019 - Sensory Sensitivity Tied to Constipation in Young Children
April 23, 2019 - More than half of internal medicine graduates choosing primary care
April 22, 2019 - Researchers discover good news for fish populations living on bleached coral reefs
April 22, 2019 - Plant-based diets associated with lower risk of heart failure
April 22, 2019 - Food Allergies Can Strike at Any Age
April 22, 2019 - Cerebro-facio-thoracic dysplasia – Genetics Home Reference
April 22, 2019 - Poverty leaves a mark on our genes
April 22, 2019 - Countdown to Big Data in Precision Health: When industry and academia converge
April 22, 2019 - The U.S government may account for up to $37.8 billion due to opioid epidemic
April 22, 2019 - Improving ACA’s Insurance Coverage Provisions will lead to better care for patients
April 22, 2019 - Study identifies possible therapeutic effects of curcumin on stomach cancer
April 22, 2019 - Hyaline fibromatosis syndrome – Genetics Home Reference
April 22, 2019 - Scientists use CRISPR for possible ‘bubble boy’ therapy
April 22, 2019 - Hematologist (and a mom, singer, actress and much more) stands up for diversity
April 22, 2019 - Novel AI voice tool can help diagnose PTSD
April 22, 2019 - Overlooked part of cell’s internal machinery may hold key to treating acute myeloid leukemia
April 22, 2019 - Nursing, medical, and dental students train together to improve pediatric oral health
April 22, 2019 - Soft bedding responsible for majority of sleep-related infant deaths, study reveals
April 22, 2019 - Study finds worse health-related quality of life among transgender adults
April 22, 2019 - MIT scientists reverse some behavioral symptoms of rare neurodevelopmental disorder
April 22, 2019 - Scientists find new therapy target for drug-induced liver failure
April 22, 2019 - Opioid dose variability could lead to increased risk of overdose, study suggests
April 22, 2019 - Newly developed model predicts salmonella outbreaks several months in advance
April 22, 2019 - Deep-learning model better predicts survival outcomes for lung cancer
April 22, 2019 - One in Three U.S. Adults Aged 35 to 44 May Have Drinking Problem
April 22, 2019 - Why the measles virus is so contagious
April 22, 2019 - Magnet ‘Zap’ to the Brain Might Jumpstart Aging Memory
April 22, 2019 - Immune response to gut microbes may be early indicator of type 1 diabetes
April 22, 2019 - Destination Limbo: Health Suffers Among Asylum Seekers In Crowded Border Shelter
April 22, 2019 - Research shows how dopamine contributes to sex differences in worms
April 22, 2019 - Marijuana users weigh less compared to non-users
April 22, 2019 - Research uncovers critical RNA processing aberrations in ALS and FTD
April 22, 2019 - Many cancer patients use marijuana and prescription opioids, study reveals
April 22, 2019 - Frailty may up fracture risk in patients with type 2 diabetes
April 22, 2019 - Study provides new insight into how obesity, insulin resistance can affect cognition
April 22, 2019 - Study seeks to better understand the genetic causes for hypospadias
April 22, 2019 - FDA grants approval of first generic naloxone nasal spray to treat opioid overdose
April 22, 2019 - FDA authorizes marketing of first medical device to treat ADHD
April 22, 2019 - Vanderbilt researchers to develop and test ‘safe harbor’ standards of care
April 22, 2019 - You’re probably brushing your teeth wrong – here are four tips for better dental health
April 22, 2019 - Pharmacy closures contribute to medication non-adherence among heart patients
April 22, 2019 - Using Edge AI technology to observe behavior of cattle
April 22, 2019 - Bacteria play a role in the development of stomach ulcers in pigs
April 22, 2019 - Hand Hygiene Compliance Poor in Task Transitions
April 22, 2019 - smoking could harm your baby
April 22, 2019 - Scientists identify rare, paradoxical response to antiretroviral therapy
April 21, 2019 - More TV, Tablets, More Attention Issues at Age 5
April 21, 2019 - Drug reduces risk of kidney failure in people with diabetes, study finds
April 21, 2019 - New research identifies novel link between antibiotic resistance and climate change
April 21, 2019 - Simple intervention can provide lasting protection for teens against junk food marketing
April 21, 2019 - The protein p38-gamma identified as a new therapeutic target in liver cancer
April 21, 2019 - Novel system enables researchers to study bacteria within mini-tissues in a dish
April 21, 2019 - Discovery of oral cancer biomarkers could save thousands of lives
April 21, 2019 - Geneva Exhibition committee gives gold medals to two medications developed by Kazan
April 21, 2019 - Scientists aim to minimize or eliminate hair loss during cancer treatment
April 21, 2019 - WiFi interacts with signaling pathways in the human brain
April 21, 2019 - Stroke Hospitalizations Down in Black, White Medicare Enrollees
April 21, 2019 - First common risk genes discovered for autism
April 21, 2019 - Researchers map auditory sensory system of the mouse brain
April 21, 2019 - Scientists Bring Pig’s Brain, Dead 4 Hours, Back to ‘Cellular Activity’
April 21, 2019 - Virtual reality a promising tool for reducing fears and phobia in autism
April 21, 2019 - New analysis lists out opportunities for U.S. medical schools to advance population health
April 21, 2019 - More sleep may help teens with ADHD focus and organize
April 21, 2019 - Breakthrough antibody treatment suppresses HIV without antivirals
April 21, 2019 - AveXis Data Reinforce Effectiveness of Zolgensma in Treating Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) Type 1
April 21, 2019 - Is your hand pain arthritis, carpal tunnel or something else?
April 21, 2019 - Measles outbreaks may become more frequent if vaccination rates continue to decline
April 21, 2019 - Researchers succeed in accelerating process of creating 3D images
April 21, 2019 - Tiny worm mimics key genetic risk for Alzheimer’s
April 21, 2019 - Angry dreams explained by brain waves
April 20, 2019 - Parenteral Antimicrobial Tx at Home Burdens Children’s Caregivers
Influential Leapfrog Group jumps in to rate 5,600 surgery centers

Influential Leapfrog Group jumps in to rate 5,600 surgery centers

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print

The influential Leapfrog Group, which grades nearly 2,000 U.S. hospitals, is launching a national survey to evaluate the safety and quality of up to 5,600 surgery centers that perform millions of outpatient procedures every year.

The group now issues hospitals an overall letter grade and evaluates how hospitals handle myriad problems, from infections to collapsed lungs to dangerous blood clots — helping patients decide where to seek care.

The new surgery center effort will focus on staffing, surgical outcomes and patient experience in facilities that are performing increasingly complex procedures and seeing more aging patients. The grades will also cover surgery centers’ closest competitor, hospital outpatient departments.

Leah Binder, Leapfrog Group’s chief executive, said she wants to fill gaps in information about same-day surgery, which employers and health plans have embraced for its lower costs.

Employers, she said, “don’t have enough information on quality and safety of that care.”

Binder said a recent Kaiser Health News/USA Today Network investigation highlighted the need for independent information about surgery centers. The investigation found that since 2013, more than 260 patients died after care at centers that lacked appropriate lifesaving equipment, operated on very fragile patients or sent people home before they fully recovered.

“Your reporting did highlight the real lack of information from the federal government and the need for us to have an independent means of reporting,” Binder said. “People are going in for surgery, and our federal government doesn’t think it’s important to tell us how it’s going. Maybe that was OK 30 years ago, but now it’s not OK.”

The news report was based on inspection reports, lawsuits and data from many states that tally patient deaths but which refuse to note where they occurred. Seventeen other states collect no data on deaths at all.

The new Leapfrog plan will start with a survey of 250 centers in 2019 and include up to 5,600 surgery centers in 2020. At that point, it will publish data on the outcomes of specific procedures, like total knee replacements, across the hospital outpatient departments and surgery centers nationwide.

The Leapfrog Group is funded by employers and health plans that cover the health care of the half of Americans who get health benefits through their job, Binder said. The organization was founded to shed light on health care quality and safety to help consumers pick high-value providers. It plans to disseminate the new surveys through its 40 business group members that steer millions in health spending.

Bill Prentice, chief executive of the Ambulatory Surgery Center Association, an industry trade group, said he supports the move toward greater transparency. However, he said the work to determine the specific measures is still underway, and “the devil is in the details.”

Ty Tippets, administrator of St. George Surgical Center in Utah, said he welcomes what Leapfrog is doing.

“Anytime [data] is gathered and provided in a transparent, easily accessed forum — it helps empower patients,” said Tippets, who recently testified before Congress about transparency in health care.

The Leapfrog Group announcement comes as Medicare is reviewing the data it will collect to gauge the quality of surgery centers.

The agency previously asked each surgery center to report its emergency transfer rate, or how often a patient 65 or older was sent from a center to the hospital. Yet the agency only required the centers to send data for half or more of its Medicare patients.

In the current rule-making period, Medicare declared the resulting data of little value, given the minimal differences among centers’ scores. The agency proposed dropping the measure, but has not yet finalized the proposal.

Going forward, Medicare has said it will use its own billing data to report the percent of surgery center patients who seek care at a hospital in the week after a procedure.

Medicare recently announced plans to shine more light on the performance of accreditors, which play a key role in granting or denying health facilities approvals to operate. A recent KHN investigation into accreditor performance in California — the only state where the private bodies’ inspection reports are public — showed repeated lapses in oversight.

A Medicare spokesman said new reports will show how well accreditors fare when state health officials inspect the same facilities.  In recent years, Medicare has found that accreditors overlooked the majority of problems that government officials uncovered.

In September, the White House Office of Management and Budget approved another health agency’s proposal to collect and report data about the “culture of safety” in surgery centers. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality will ask surgery center staff about issues such as whether staff feel comfortable speaking up about patient care concerns.

The plan says summary data — not facility-by-facility data — on the survey’s results will be reported publicly.

That effort would add to the overall information the public has about surgery centers, said Dr. Ashish Jha, a patient safety expert at Harvard’s School of Public Health.

“Places that do badly on safety culture surveys tend to have worse outcomes,” Jha said. “But you can’t bank on it.”

He said the most useful data for the public would cover actual events — such as deaths after surgery, admissions to the hospital or functional status and pain three months after surgery.

“Those are the things that actually matter,” he said.

KHN’s coverage related to aging and improving care of older adults is supported in part by The John A. Hartford Foundation.

Kaiser Health NewsThis article was reprinted from khn.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles