Hospital Rankings: The More, the Murkier

Tinker Ready, for HealthLeaders Media , May 1, 2014

The news from Leapfrog's latest release is that hospital safety ratings, based on the A–F grades used by school teachers and restaurant inspectors, have improved since the last biannual grade. But they could be much better, says Leapfrog President Leah Binder, and she doesn't have a problem with the growing number of safety and quality measures competing with hers.

"There are lots of different publications that review cars that I can find in my bookstore," she told me. "I choose the one that meets my personal needs." There is plenty of room in the public discourse for different measures, she said "especially given what we know about the, frankly, extremely disappointing performance of hospitals right now."

Could she be thinking of the UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles? On Tuesday, Binder criticized U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) for using the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles as a backdrop to release a report on patient safety. In a Forbes column, Binder wrote that UCLA earned a weak C rating in the latest Leapfrog results and chided Boxer for her "timid" approach the issue.

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