(Story updated with comment from Leapfrog.)
Just weeks after the Leapfrog Group released a controversial scorecard assigning a letter grade for overall patient safety to more than 2,600 U.S. hospitals, the American Hospital Association is criticizing the group's data, calling it biased, inaccurate and unfair.
NEW: Leapfrog CEO Leah Binder responded in an interview that the AHA appears to be digging for ways to discredit the grades after hearing from members that didn't score well. "The old thing is kill the messenger, and this is the new version: kill the methodology," Binder said.
The Leapfrog Group, a Washington-based healthcare quality-improvement group formed by large employers, released its Hospital Safety Score on June 6. The group said it based each hospital's letter grade—A, B, C, D or F—on performance on 26 quality measures, covering areas such as medication safety, infection prevention and patient falls.
But in a two-page letter, AHA President and CEO Richard Umbdenstock (PDF) pointed to what he says are a number of “methodological shortcomings,” in the Leapfrog scorecard, including unreliable measures and the use of weighting across different hospitals. Most importantly, the AHA said, the Leapfrog Group favored its own survey when scoring hospitals.