- The Leapfrog Group, a payer and employer-backed organization that analyzes the safety and quality of hospitals, has expanded its ratings to include outpatient facilities including ambulatory surgical centers and hospital outpatient departments.
- Led by business groups and healthcare purchasers from Walmart to Boeing, the group released only the aggregate findings and not results for each individual facility that participated. Data was submitted voluntarily by 321 ASCs and 1,141 HOPDs.
- In the inaugural results, Leapfrog found ASCs and HOPDs were lacking in some areas including board certification of clinicians.
Payers and employers are making efforts to shift more care away from hospitals' inpatient rooms and into less expensive facilities.
More than 60% of surgeries are performed in an outpatient setting, according to Leapfrog. As that upward trend accelerates, Leapfrog leaders say it's important to know how well they're performing.
"Despite this increasing shift towards same-day procedures, surprisingly little information about the safety and quality of these settings is available to the public. That's why Leapfrog made the commitment this past year to expand our ratings to include sameday surgery," Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group, said in a statement.
Leapfrog analyzed voluntary results from two surveys to draw conclusions about safety and quality at outpatient facilities and determined not all clinicians performing procedures are board certified.
About 65% of those performing procedures had board certification or, in other words, more than one in three lack board certification.
It's an important distinction because its means clinicians are experts in their chosen area, Leapfrog said.
It could also be a signal that clinicians are not keeping up with their continuing education, Lee Fleisher, a physician and chair of Leapfrog's expert panel on ASCs, said during a conference call announcing the results.
Another area of concern was the lack of antimicrobial stewardship in ASCs. The report found few have such a program in place.
Leapfrog is well known for its hospital rankings. Each year, Leapfrog releases safety and qualify information about hospitals throughout the U.S.