News Briefs: Leapfrog compliance pays off for hospitals

Hospitals will begin to reap monetary rewards if they implement some specific patient safety initiatives backed by the Washington, DC-based patient safety improvement organization, The Leapfrog Group.

A consortium of Fortune 500 companies and other large health care purchasers, The Leapfrog Group will give $2 million toward hospital bonuses for using proven safety methods.

The two areas of Leapfrog’s focus are computerized physician order entry systems and specifically trained intensive care physicians.

If employees from participating Leapfrog firms are hospitalized after Jan. 1, 2002, the insurer Empire Blue Cross and Blue Shield will pay compliant hospitals 4% more than the regular inpatient reimbursement rate.

The bonus rate will drop to 3% in 2003 and to 2% the year after that.