- Leapfrog executives are urging federal regulators to nix a proposal that would prevent the publication of data on preventable complications that occur in hospitals.
- The CMS has proposed to suppress medical and surgical complications that are reported by hospitals as part of the proposed 2023 Hospital Inpatient Prospective Payment System rule.
- Leapfrog executives estimate that complications in hospitals harm more than 94,000 patients each year and kill nearly 25,000, according to a Leapfrog analysis of public data.
Leapfrog Group, an advocacy organization for healthcare transparency, is calling on the public to write to federal regulators, echoing their concerns about forgoing the publication of information on adverse events and complications in hospitals.
The CMS is the only source for this data, and without it the public will not have information on preventable complications such as bed sores, inpatient falls that result in a broken hip, or sepsis, Leapfrog executives said during a public call Thursday.
"We all deserve to know which hospitals are doing the best job of preventing these kinds of catastrophic errors," Leapfrog CEO Leah Binder said.
Federal regulators collect data from hospitals on numerous patient safety indicators to track the occurrence of adverse events. These indicators are then used to create a composite score intended to reflect the overall safety of a hospital.
The American Hospital Association said the CMS has made this proposal to forgo calculating certain hospital bonuses and penalties due to the impact of the pandemic.
"We agree with CMS that it would be unfair to base hospital incentives and penalties on data that have been skewed by the unprecedented impacts of the pandemic," Akin Demehin, senior director of policy at the AHA, said in a statement to Healthcare Dive.
Leapfrog leaders said COVID-19 is not going away anytime soon, and they are concerned that allowing the suppression of data for one year puts the data at risk for future years.
The CMS is accepting comments on the proposal until June 17.