The Leapfrog Group, widely known as an arbiter of quality in acute care circles, is opposing a proposal by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to cut safety measures from two quality reporting programs.
In two separate proposed rules CMS said it wants to eliminate six infection measures from the Hospital Inpatient Quality Reporting Program and two safety measures from the Long-Term Care Hospital Quality Reporting Program. The agency argues that providers spend too much time tracking infections across duplicative systems or that they are not worth the time spent to gather results.
In similar language in its proposed 2019 rule for skilled nursing facilities, CMS said it plans to update the SNF Quality Reporting Program to add costs of current reporting measures and evaluate when the price of data collection outweighs the benchmarking benefit.
In a letter scheduled to be sent to CMS Administrator Seema Verma June 25 — after other organizations have had a chance to sign on — Leapfrog urges CMS not to remove those types of safety measures from hospital accountability measures or the Value Based Purchasing Program.
“We strongly advise CMS to put a priority on transparency throughout all of its programs,” the group said. “In particular, we believe that all measures related to patient safety must be publicly available in a format that is usable by patients, families, employers, and the public at large.”
Leapfrog is a not-for-profit organization that advocates for transparency in healthcare and issues objective hospital ratings. The group said that without publicly accessible safety measures, the public can’t know which hospitals and long-term care providers do a good job of preventing and controlling infections.