Data Accuracy

Leapfrog ASC Survey Results will be publicly reported in 2020 on Leapfrog's website and used by purchasers and consumers, regional and national health plans, transparency vendors, and researchers. The accuracy of the data we publish and distribute is of utmost importance. Leapfrog has several protocols in place to ensure the accuracy of our data. Each protocol is described in detail below. 

Affirmation of Accuracy

At the end of each section of the Survey, the facility's administrator, or their designee, complete an Affirmation of Accuracy, affirming that the information the facility has submitted in that section of the Survey is indeed accurate. Leapfrog reserves the right to require documentation before certifying and/or publishing any information collected via the Survey does exercise this right at random.

Warnings in the Online ASC Survey Tool

Leapfrog’s Online ASC Survey Tool requires facilities to “check for Data Review warnings” before they are able to submit a Survey. When the facility's administrator, or their designee, clicks this button on the Survey Dashboard, sections that have been completed and affirmed will be scanned for potential data entry errors and inconsistencies. The facility will still be able to submit the Survey, but will be contacted by the Help Desk via email to either (1) correct the error or (2) document that the original response was correct. The Data Review warning system gives facilities an opportunity to correct potential errors immediately – while they are still in the Online ASC Survey Tool.

If a facility receives a "Data Review warning," they can either:

  • Review their response and make corrections on the spot. Facilities will need to re-affirm any updated sections before they attempt to submit them again. 
  • Print their “data review warning” and investigate the issue. Facilities are encouraged to contact the Help Desk if they have any questions.

Extensive Monthly Data Verification

Upon the receipt of a facility’s submitted Leapfrog ASC Survey, The Leapfrog Group conducts an extensive Data Verification of each response submitted in the Survey. Generally, The Leapfrog Group conducts this Data Verification monthly beginning with June 30 submissions until the Survey is taken offline on January 31. However, in 2020, as part of Leapfrog’s COVID-19 response, Leapfrog will not begin Data Verification until September for facilities that submit by August 31. Data verification messages are emailed to the primary Survey Contact, secondary Survey Contact (if applicable) and System Contact (if applicable) within the first 5 business days of the month AFTER Leapfrog receives a Survey submission beginning with August 31 submissions.

To identify potential data entry or reporting errors, quantitative responses are assessed using empirically driven, normative data quality thresholds. The data quality thresholds are constructed with both high and low benchmarks of acceptability. Data quality thresholds for each question are determined from both external data sources (e.g., state quality reports, other national performance measurement entities) and historical Leapfrog ASC Survey data, as it becomes available. The Data Verification also includes assessing qualitative responses for potential data entry errors and inconsistencies. Applying this review methodology, The Leapfrog Group assigns each response into one of three categories:

  • Category C: The response provided is plausible and within the data quality thresholds; Leapfrog will not contact the ASC.
  • Category B: The response provided is plausible, but it falls outside the data quality thresholds; Leapfrog will contact the ASC and action from the ASC is requested. 
  • Category A: The response provided is considered implausible, given that the response falls outside of the data quality thresholds and appears to have been provided with the intent to mislead; Leapfrog will contact the ASC and action from the ASC is required.

ASCs that receive a Category B Data Verification message at the beginning of the month for any measure will be asked to review the associated Survey questions and measure specifications to ensure the submitted responses are correct. ASCs are asked to (1) contact the Help Desk to confirm the original responses are correct so we can discontinue the Monthly Data Verification message or (2) to update and resubmit the Survey if a correction is needed. 

ASCs that receive a Category A Data Verification message at the beginning of the month for any measure will have until the end of that same month to contact the Help Desk to either (1) document that the original response was correct or (2) correct the data entry or reporting error, or they will be publicly reported as “Pending Leapfrog Verification” for that measure. This term is used to indicate that the ASC has self-reported Survey responses that are under further review by Leapfrog. 

If any Category A Data Verification messages are not resolved by January 31 (when the Online ASC Survey Tool is taken offline), the entire section in which the flagged responses were included will be decertified and all measures within the section will be publicly reported as “Declined to Respond.”

In the interim (that is, prior to Leapfrog's receipt of an ASC's response to a Category B Data Verification message or prior to the end of the month for Category A Data Verification messages), the original Survey Results are publicly reported on Leapfrog’s website.

When Leapfrog is contacted about a particular Survey response or Leapfrog representatives are made aware of a potential error in reporting, Leapfrog does investigate these concerns and the ASC’s Survey is subject to decertification.

Monthly Documentation Requirements

In addition to the pre- and post-submission Data Verification described above, Leapfrog also randomly selects facilities to submit documentation to verify the accuracy of various responses from the Survey. Facilities must respond to the documentation request within 30 days or risk having the section decertified. 

On-site Data Verification

The On-Site Data verification protocol builds on Leapfrog’s already robust process for reviewing Survey responses. ASCs that submit a 2020 Leapfrog ASC Survey will be eligible for On-Site Data Verification in 2021. 

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