Second, Binder underscores that the measurement strategy was determined by nine of the nation's top safety experts, including Lucian Leape, MD, of Harvard; John Birkmeyer, MD, of the University of Michigan; Peter Pronovost, MD, of Johns Hopkins University; Robert Wachter, MD, of the University of California San Francisco and Ashish Jha, MD, of Harvard.
"In the long run, it is likely we will set fixed safety standards and grade hospitals against those standards, but first we need better information about what standards are reasonable and feasible. We can only know that through comparative analysis right now," she says.
The fact of the matter, she says, is that "there are significant differences among hospitals in their level of safety, and that is what is reflected in the score."
Binder says that if and when Medicare stops reporting on a measure, or the expert panel concludes it's no longer eligible for the Hospital Safety Score, "we will remove it."
As she told me several weeks ago when she described the purpose of this new scorecard: "People deserve to know that some hospitals are safer than others."