The Leapfrog Group Releases Groundbreaking Tool to Estimate Lives and Dollars Lost to Medical Errors

April 12, 2017

Washington, D.C.– When mistakes happen in hospitals, employers and purchasers pay the price in both lives and dollars. To illuminate the impact medical errors have on an employer’s covered population, The Leapfrog Group announced today its new Lives and Dollars Lost to Medical Errors Calculator, accessible at  


Originally launched in 2013 as the Hidden Surcharge Calculator, the new interactive tool allows purchasers to estimate the number of avoidable deaths among covered lives; how much they spend annually due to medical errors within general acute care hospitals; and how much of their total health care spend goes to these medical mistakes.


The first-of-its-kind calculator incorporates insight from Leapfrog’s lives lost analysis, which found hospitals receiving D and F Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grades carry a nearly 50% greater risk of mortality than A hospitals, and more than 33,000 lives could be saved if all hospitals performed at the same level of A-graded hospitals. The Leapfrog Group contracted with the Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality at Johns Hopkins Medicine in spring 2016 to conduct the analysis.


“When we launched the calculator in 2013, our goal was to expose the hidden surcharges associated with medical errors. Though they aren’t indicated as a line item on a bill, employers and purchasers are certainly paying for them,” said Leah Binder, president and CEO of Leapfrog. “Since introducing the calculator, we’re now able to tabulate an even more important estimate of the price purchasers pay - the estimated number of lives that are lost amongst their covered population.”


For more information about the effect medical errors have on your bottom line or to launch the Lives and Dollars Lost to Medical Errors Calculator, please visit:


About The Leapfrog Group

Founded in 2000 by large employers and other purchasers, The Leapfrog Group is a national nonprofit organization driving a movement for giant leaps forward in the quality and safety of American health care. The flagship Leapfrog Hospital Survey collects and transparently reports hospital performance, empowering purchasers to find the highest-value care and giving consumers the lifesaving information they need to make informed decisions. The Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade, Leapfrog’s other main initiative, assigns letter grades to hospitals based on their record of patient safety, helping consumers protect themselves and their families from errors, injuries, accidents, and infections.

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