WASHINGTON / October 21, 2020 – Two of the Nation’s most influential employer-based organizations have announced they are joining forces to push for major change in the quality and cost-effectiveness of health care.
The Leapfrog Group, an employer-led nonprofit watchdog organization founded in 2000, joins with the Health Transformation Alliance (HTA), a cooperative of leading employers across the Nation united in the common cause to improve health care quality and affordability for employees and their families. Leapfrog is now a formal member of HTA, alongside over 50 employer members of the HTA that collectively spend $27 billion on health care for their seven million lives. HTA also joined as a member of Leapfrog’s National Panel of Employer Benefit Innovators, a group of employers across the country that lead the Leapfrog movement for safety, quality, and value in health care. Together, Leapfrog and HTA will use their data, market leverage, and influence to accelerate transparency and payment reform.
“The Health Transformation Alliance calls on every hospital and every ambulatory surgery center in America to show their commitment to their communities and their patients by participating in the Leapfrog Surveys,” said Health Transformation Alliance CEO Rob Andrews, “HTA is proud to stand with Leapfrog for excellence, affordability, and transparency. Never in our history as a country has it been more important to ensure the safety and quality of American health care.”
“In just five years, the HTA has emerged as a major force driving change in health care, bringing leadership, experience, and insights from their exceptionally determined employer members,” said Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group. “Along with Leapfrog’s bold employer base, our two organizations will turbo-charge the movement for health care value and bring to life our common vision for top-quality, affordable American health care.”
Leapfrog and HTA plan to drive market change with insights from HTA’s substantial commercial claims data, Leapfrog Surveys of hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs), and Leapfrog ratings such as the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade. With these insights, Leapfrog and HTA will support employers to tie their benefits programs to excellence and value and give employees and their families information to make decisions about where to seek care. HTA and its members will also offer employer perspectives to Leapfrog’s team of experts crafting future initiatives.
“Of all the priorities employers worry about, nothing could be more important than the health and well-being of employees and their families. Everything about every successful business starts there,” added Binder.
“Employers need to take bold steps no matter the outcome of the election, because it’s up to employers to invest wisely in the health of their own employees,” said Andrews, a former U.S. Congressman from New Jersey, pointing to a recent RAND study showing employers pay two-and-a-half times what Medicare pays for the same care.
The first action Leapfrog and HTA will take together focuses on ASCs. More than 60% of surgeries in the U.S. are now performed in hospital outpatient facilities or ASCs. Yet, there is only limited data publicly available to compare among facilities nationally. In a letter to their leadership, the Health Transformation Alliance urged all ASCs in the U.S. to participate in the Leapfrog ASC Survey, citing the need for greater quality and cost transparency for its employers to make care choices.
The aggregation of Leapfrog’s Survey results with the Health Transformation Alliance’s commercial claims database will help identify the highest value health care providers for HTA’s employer members. Those employers can then use that information to steer their employees and dependents to the best facilities for their care, as well as implement payment strategies to reward value. Hospitals and ASCs looking to be included in the HTA’s data analysis should participate in the annual Leapfrog Surveys which are open through December 31, 2020.