The employer-backed safety group says the grades serve as an easy-to-use tool for patients to use when making decisions about where to seek care and as a driver to boost hospital performance. But the safety-scoring program has drawn intense criticism from hospitals, many of which argue the grades don't fairly represent the quality of care their organizations deliver.
This latest update assigned scores to 2,539 hospitals, up slightly from the 2,514 that received grades in the last update. Of those, 813 received an A, 661 received a B, 893 received a C, 150 received a D and 22 received an F.
“I have to admit my disappointment, especially because we know there have been some extraordinary efforts at improving safety,” said Leah Binder, Leapfrog's president and CEO, citing initiatives such as HHS' $1 billion Partnership for Patients. “We'll keep at it, though.”
Still, a few hospitals—3.5% of those scored in the latest update—saw their grades jump by two or more levels since May. Brookwood Medical Center, Birmingham, Ala., for instance, received an A, up from a C in May. Kishwaukee Community Hospital, DeKalb, Ill., saw its grade improve from a D in May to a B in this latest update. “It can be done,” Binder said. “We just want more than 3.5% to do it.”