The Leapfrog Group is asking hospitals to comment on a proposed addition to the Maternity Care section of the 2014 Leapfrog Hospital Survey. Continually evolving to reflect the most current standards of performance, the Leapfrog Hospital Survey assesses hospitals based on national performance measures. The proposed addition, the nulliparous term singleton vertex (NTSV) cesarean section measure, focuses attention on low-risk, first-time births and provides concrete quality improvement suggestions to hospitals.
Leapfrog is announcing this proposed change in advance of its regularly scheduled Public Comment Period for Proposed Changes to the 2014 Leapfrog Hospital Survey. This notice will allow hospitals the opportunity to offer feedback and to implement and refine their data collection and reporting protocols in preparation for the 2015 public release of NTSV cesarean section delivery rates.
"Employers and other purchasers have been asking Leapfrog to report on C-sections since our inception over a decade ago. That's because the risks to women and babies associated with cesarean delivery are numerous and well documented, including infections and other serious complications, and the costs are very high," says Leah Binder, Leapfrog president and CEO. "We now have a reliable measure we can use on the survey, which means we can support women and families who want to compare the C-section rates of hospitals in their community."
The NTSV cesarean section measure is endorsed by the National Quality Forum and has been a part of The Joint Commission's Perinatal Care Measure Set since 2010. Beginning in January 2014, The Joint Commission will require all hospitals with 1,100 or more births per year to report on this measure. Leapfrog offers a short guide to assist hospitals with data collection and accurate reporting of their NTSV cesarean section delivery rates.
If added to the Leapfrog Hospital Survey, all participating hospitals reporting at least 50 births annually would be required to collect the NTSV cesarean section delivery data. Though the data would be collected as the part of the 2014 Leapfrog Hospital Survey, individual hospital rates would not be publicly reported on the Leapfrog Hospital Survey Results website (www.leapfroggroup.org/cp) until 2015. Leapfrog will use a direct standardization method to calculate an NTSV cesarean section delivery rate, which takes into account the mother's age. Hospital rates of NTSV cesarean section delivery will be measured against a national target of 15 percent. This target aligns with a goal set by National Priorities Partnership (http://www.qualityforum.org/npp/) Maternity Action Team, a public-private partnership working to improve the quality, safety and affordability of health care for all Americans.
Comments and feedback on the addition of the NTSV Cesarean Section measure to the 2014 Leapfrog Hospital Survey should be submitted to the Leapfrog Hospital Survey Help Desk (https://leapfroghospitalsurvey.zendesk.com) by December 11, 2013 with the subject line: "Public Comment."