HPCI News: Iowa Hospital Transparency on Safety, Quality and Affordability

To: Members and selected others

Iowa ranks 3rd from last among the states as a percentage of hospitals reporting to The Leapfrog Group according to a new report by Castlight Health. The Heartland Health Research Institute recently reported similar very low grades:

  • Grading of Iowa Hospitals on "Transparency in Medical Outcomes (size weighted): "D" and "F's"

  • Cost Transparency of Iowa Hospitals (size weighted): "D's" and "F's"

According to Castlight Health, 1,437 hospitals across the United States completed the 2013 Leapfrog Hospital Survey. Of these, only three (3) were from Iowa. That makes Iowa 3rd from the bottom. Maine had the highest score with 100% of the hospitals reporting.

The Leapfrog Group is a national nonprofit founded in 2000 by a coalition of employer purchasers of health benefits with support from the Business Roundtable, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Commonwealth Fund. Since its inception, It has successfully driven a national movement towards increased transparency of information on hospital safety, quality, and affordability. According the Castlight Health report, the Leapfrog Hospital Survey - a free, evidence-based, annual voluntary survey - remains by far the most powerful tool in the country for hospitals to publically demonstrate their transparency, safety, and quality results. Results are publically reported by hospital on www.LeapfrogGroup.org.

The Castlight Health report highlights variation in performance across regions, between urban and rural hospitals, and trends over time, while looking closely at results in several areas of hospital safety and quality:

  • Medication Errors

  • Maternity Care

  • High Risk Surgeries

  • Hospital-Acquired Conditions: infections in Intensive Care Units, Pressure Ulcers, and Injuries

  • ICU Physician Staffing

  • Serious Adverse Events Including Never Events

  • Safe Practices

The Castlight Health report is entitled 2013 Leapfrog Hospital Survey Results. More information is also available through the HPCI office.

Note: HPCI and the Iowa Health Buyers Alliance are the Leapfrog Group Regional Rollout Leaders for greater Iowa which includes Iowa and eastern Nebraska. Hospitals are encouraged to complete the Leapfrog Hospital Survey. This effort has broad support including employer purchasers, ABI, Iowa Medicaid, public sector employers, AARP Iowa, labor unions, and major Iowa health insurers (except Wellmark).


Paul M. Pietzsch, MPH
HPCI - IHBA Office
4430 Ashley Park Drive
West Des Moines, Iowa 50265
(515) 778-6300

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