WASHINGTON, April 12, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --The Leapfrog Group, an employer-driven national advocate of healthcare safety and quality, applauds the administration for reaching out to employers and other purchasers of health care to align better our payment for health care with common goals for patient safety. We agree with the administration on the need for a common national yardstick for measuring patient safety, and on the need for educating and engaging consumers so they can protect themselves and their families.
While we will gladly collaborate on finding common measures of hospital performance, we value diversity of reporting data to the public and, therefore, continue to support meaningful and responsible reporting from a variety of stakeholders. In Leapfrog's experience, there are myriad ways to communicate raw data, and patients, purchasers, and hospitals themselves utilize the data in a variety of ways to drive improved performance. It is a great strength of our country that diverse voices and opinions in our public discourse tend to accelerate progress.
It is impossible to overstate the importance of accelerating progress in patient safety. One in four Medicare beneficiaries admitted to a hospital is harmed during the stay, according to a December 2010 report from the Office of the Inspector General. The report estimates that 5000 beneficiaries per month suffer a never event, and 180,000 die from adverse events each year.
In the interest of accelerating public discourse, transparency, and progress, Leapfrog calls on CMS to make Medicare and Medicaid data available and easily accessible to the public, to permit a range of analysis in our public discussion of hospital performance. Of course, data should protect patient identity, but include a complete census of hospital and physician data to permit comparison among these different providers.