Leapfrog Group to help hospitals with investments

A member of the steering committee of The Leapfrog Group, a Washington, DC-based patient safety organization, said the committee is developing plans to help hospitals recoup some of the money they invest in changes to meet Leapfrog recommendations.

Francois de Brantes, program leader for health care initiatives at GE Corporate Health Care, said the employer group recognizes that the cost of implementing Leapfrog recommendations can exceed what hospitals get from payers as a result of making those changes. "Shame on us purchasers, and shame on this country, to have created a system where better quality costs hospitals money," said de Brantes, speaking in San Diego to the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society.

Leapfrog has designed incentives to urge hospitals to implement computerized physician order entry systems and employ intensivists and evidence-based hospital referrals. De Brantes said Leapfrog is developing a procedure to examine the cost of fulfilling these recommendations, forecast their fiscal impact, and help cover the difference, usually through direct payments by Leapfrog members or by telling insurers to redirect premium payments to the hospitals.