Lives & Dollars Lost Calculator

What price do you pay?

Find out how many lives and dollars are at risk for your company

When mistakes happen in the hospital, employers pay the price in lives and dollars.

Using Leapfrog’s groundbreaking and award-winning Lives and Dollars Lost risk calculator, employers and purchasers can estimate:

  1. The number of avoidable deaths among covered lives
  2. Hidden surcharges paid for each inpatient admission due to medical errors
  3. The percent of total health care expenditures spent on medical mistakes
  4. The likelihood of avoidable harm by race and ethnicity

Information Needed for Calculator:

  • Your total number of inpatient admissions for a calendar year within the U.S.
  • Current Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grades for the facilities your employees utilize
  • Estimated percent of admissions that require surgery or an ICU stay
  • Your estimated annual total expenses for health care coverage


Webinar: Differences in Patient Safety Events by Race and Ethnicity: Leapfrog's Enhanced Lives and Dollars Lost Calculator



Many employers currently use Leapfrog’s free calculator to estimate the price they pay—in lost lives and excess costs—for medical errors made in hospitals. This panel explored Leapfrog’s new update to the calculator, estimating harm by race and ethnicity. Leapfrog CEO Leah Binder moderated the panel with  patient safety measurement Alex Campione, along with Paramount VP Michelle Martin, Leapfrog's Board chair, who uses the calculator. 

View the Toolkit


Lives Lost

A study by the Johns Hopkins Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality found that Leapfrog-graded D and F hospitals carry nearly twice the risk of mortality than A hospitals. Over 50,000 lives could be saved if all hospitals performed at the level of A graded hospitals.

Learn more about the comparative risk at A, B, C, D and F hospitals


Dollars Lost

For some employers, the dollars lost to medical errors can represent up to 30% of their overall health care spend. By shifting employees to “A” hospitals through improved benefits plan design, employers can decrease these hidden surcharges and protect their employees and dependents from harm.


Rates of Harm Differ by Race and Ethnicity

The Urban Institute, in collaboration with Leapfrog, compared the rate of patient safety events, such as dangerous blood clots or air embolisms after surgery, among non-Hispanic white, non-Hispanic Black, and Hispanic patients at “A” hospitals, “B” hospitals and “C”, “D”, or “F” hospitals. The analysis included 2019 hospital discharge records from 15 states. The study found that non-Hispanic Black and Hispanic patients experience higher rates of many adverse surgery-related safety events relative to white patients across all Safety Grades (“A” hospitals, “B” hospitals and “C”, “D”, or “F” hospitals).


View the Report.


Our Commitment


The Lives & Dollars Lost Calculator has been awarded a Certificate of Validation Seal, demonstrating our commitment to the highest standards of validity. The Validation Institute’s Certificate of Validation is a seal of approval designed specifically for the health care industry. The Calculator also won a 2019 Health Value Award for Value Transparency Services.

The Lives and Dollars Lost calculator is provided at no cost as a public service from The Leapfrog Group. The calculator is fully transparent, and includes an optional download which houses the full formulas, assumptions and sources behind our calculations. Learn more about the underlying methodology.


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