To give health care consumers more information about hospital safety performance, Aetna (NYSE: AET) announced today that it will include The Leapfrog Group's Hospital Safety Scores in its online hospital directory, DocFind, beginning this August. Click here to access Aetna's press release.
"Consumers need and demand more information about health care quality, safety and pricing. Combined with other quality information already available from Aetna and The Leapfrog Group, the Hospital Safety Scores give our members and consumers an additional reference to help them make informed health care decisions for themselves and their families," says Elizabeth Curran, head of Aetna's Network Strategy and Program Development.
The Leapfrog Group is a national nonprofit organization using the collective leverage of large purchasers of health care to initiate breakthrough improvements in the safety, quality and affordability of health care. In June 2012, The Leapfrog Group introduced the Hospital Safety Score. The score uses 26 measures of publicly available hospital safety data to produce a single letter grade (A-F). The grade represents a hospital's overall success in keeping patients safe from infections, injuries, and medical and medication errors. The scoring is calculated under the guidance of Leapfrog' panel of eight patient safety experts.
"The Hospital Safety Score is designed to help people stay safe when admitted to the hospital, and foster clinical and quality improvement. That starts with transparent, consistent measures that help hospitals make targeted improvements. Aetna is the first health plan to make the scores available within their hospital directory. We applaud their constant focus on quality improvement and member engagement," says Leah Binder, president and CEO of Leapfrog.
Aetna members and DocFind visitors will be able to check specific hospital safety scores later this summer by clicking a link on the hospital's page on the site. They will see the letter grade for their hospital of choice, as well as the grades of other hospitals in the same geographic area.
Aetna, which has collaborated with The Leapfrog Group since 2005, was the first health plan to endorse the Leapfrog Group's approach to "Never Events" - events that so threaten patient safety that they should never happen -- including public recognition of hospitals that voluntarily develop procedures around reporting these events. Aetna's member website, Aetna Navigator, features additional quality patient safety information to help inform members.
"We believe each health care professional and facility intends to provide the best possible care. Still, hundreds of preventable errors occur each year," Curran says. "We are committed to educating our members about patient safety. We are glad to work with the Leapfrog Group and health care providers to measure and improve care quality and safety."
Aetna is one of the nation's leading diversified health care benefits companies, serving an estimated 44 million people with information and resources to help them make better-informed decisions about their health care. Aetna offers a broad range of traditional, voluntary and consumer-directed health insurance products and related services, including medical, pharmacy, dental, behavioral health, group life and disability plans, and medical management capabilities, Medicaid health care management services, workers' compensation administrative services and health information technology services. Aetna's customers include employer groups, individuals, college students, part-time and hourly workers, health plans, health care providers, governmental units, government-sponsored plans, labor groups and expatriates. For more information, see www.aetna.com.