"Leapfrog's data is consistently old and outdated," says Terry Osborne, CEO for American Legion Hospital in Crowley, LA, which received an F. "[The score is] not reflective of our current practices.
And some hospital officials argue that the measures Leapfrog says are important are not necessarily the same ones where hospitals have placed their emphasis.
Jonathan Aquino, who was named chief quality officer for 222-bed Kern Medical Center six months ago, says that since his safety-net facility mainly treats Medicaid (Medi-Cal) patients, it has focused more on measures required by the state's Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment Program instead of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' quality measures, and that may partly explain why Kern received an F, the second this year.
"We just received an award from the California Hospital Association as an improvement leader… for reduction of hospital harm across five or more categories," says Aquino.
"Some hospitals in California may have had other priorities, and are now shifting to these Leapfrog measures," he says.
Paul Antonecchia, chief medical officer of 406-bed St. John's Riverside Hospital in Yonkers, NY, also blasted the report card for using data from between 2009 and 2011.
"The disconnect for us is that within literally the last year's time, we have been acknowledged as a top performer by Consumer Reports, and U.S. News & World Report in nephrology and orthopedics, and we received a gold star from the New York Department of Health.