"We've seen incremental improvements in all our patient safety and quality metrics. The Leapfrog quality scores stand out as not being aligned with all the good things that have happened at St. John's over the last few years," he says.
"I don't think you can judge a hospital on the basis of a handful of self-selected metrics. Out of CMS' 24 metrics, they picked three."
Antonecchia emphasizes that he is "not challenging or debating Leapfrog's methodology. Just that informed consumers need to look at many sources of information, and Leapfrog is just one that exists."
And Emily Cannon, RN, director of quality improvement for 30-bed Wallace Thompson Hospital in Union, SC, says she's "so mad at Leapfrog I can't even think." Even one deep vein thrombosis, she says, can make Wallace Thompson look bad because of its size. And, she says, small rural hospitals like hers, 25 miles from larger tertiary hospitals, shouldn't be scored by the same measures as bigger hospitals.
"Blue Cross Blue Shield just gave us a rate increase, and we had no injuries from C-sections and no falls. We have excellent safety data, so we're frustrated. We feel like Leapfrog isn't being fair."
Binder explains that many of the measures Leapfrog includes in its scorecard are "never events. They should never happen. I don't care who you serve."