The Leapfrog Group, a Washington, D.C.-based healthcare-purchaser organization focused on patient safety and value, has launched a new online tool that allows purchasers to calculate how much they spend annually on unnecessary costs due to medical errors that occur within general acute care hospitals.
The Hidden Surcharge Calculator, developed by a team of experts, allows employers and purchasers to calculate the surcharge they pay as a result of hospital errors. This estimate can be derived using an employer's claims data as well as the Hospital Safety Scores of utilized hospitals. In 2012, The Leapfrog Group launched the Hospital Safety Score, which uses letter grades of A through F to rate the patient safety efforts and outcomes of more than 2,500 general acute care hospitals across the U.S.
The calculator enables purchasers to discover their annual hidden hospital error surcharge and average surcharge per admission. By shifting employees to “A” hospitals through improved benefits plan design, employers can decrease these hidden surcharges and protect their employees and dependents from harm, according to Leapfrog officials.
“It’s counterintuitive and outrageous, but you will pay a lot more for hospitals that have more errors, accidents and infections,” Leah Binder, Leapfrog president and CEO, said in a statement. “Errors aren’t typically marked as a line item on a bill—but purchasers and consumers are paying millions of dollars for them, and we’ve substantiated it with our research.”