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VOL. 127 | NO. 82 | Thursday, April 26, 2012

Memphis Biz Group on Health Recognizes Hospitals

By JOY DOSS

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Memphis Business Group on Health (MBGH) celebrated area hospitals at a luncheon held on the campus of Rhodes College on Tuesday, April 24, where nearly 100 member organizations and other health care professionals were in attendance.

Leah Binder, CEO of The Leapfrog Group, left, and Cristie Travis, CEO of MBGH.

(Photo: Darius Williams/Aquarius Creative)

This year marked the 10th of MBGH’s involvement as a Regional Rollout partner in the Leapfrog program. The theme was, “Leap Year: Celebrating Giant Leaps in Healthcare in Memphis,” which recognizes improvements being made by hospitals in West Tennessee and North Mississippi. Nineteen hospitals submitted proposals based on the work through and requirements of the Leapfrog survey. The winners were determined by national judges that included Suzanne Delbanco, the first CEO of The Leapfrog Group and current executive director of the Catalyst for Payment Reform, and Andy Webber, CEO of the National Business Coalition on Health and a former Leapfrog board member.

Special recognition went to Baptist Memorial Hospital-DeSoto for their measures to drastically reduce catheter-associated urinary tract infections; Methodist North Hospital for their initiative to eliminate ventilator-associated pneumonia; The Regional Medical Center at Memphis for their work in increasing antenatal steroids for very low birth weight infants; and Baptist Memorial Golden Triangle for greatly reducing the number of elective deliveries for women less than 39 weeks pregnant.

As Cristie Travis, CEO of MBGH, pointed out it is critical to let people know that hospitals, their administrators and medical personnel care about the welfare of the patients in their care; quality of care and good outcomes are the indices of a job well done.

Leah Binder, CEO of The Leapfrog Group, followed Travis’ opening remarks with some eye-opening statistics regarding the state of health care, citing the 2010 Medicare claims assessment reporting that 25 percent of patients were harmed during their hospital stay and that roughly 17 percent reported adverse events. She also pointed out that not every adverse event lies at the feet of the hospital and that there are many innovations under way like patient-centered care, medical homes and consumer-driven health plans.

Binder also reminded the group, as Travis referenced, that innovation without attending to the fundamentals will prove ineffective. Her hope for hospitals is that as a whole they can create and sustain a more competitive environment, as with the electronics or automotive industries, for example, through transparency. A more competitive environment will help drive quality and costs in the right direction – up and down respectively.

“Part of our aim is to put a human face on the work that hospitals, their staff and their administrators are doing every day when they provide care to our employees, families and friends,” Travis said. “We happily count ourselves as part of the solution, as each member group demonstrates their commitment to their constituencies as they continue to make improvements with respect to safety, service and efficiency. As Leah Binder pointed out in her presentation fundamentals plus innovation equals success.”

The luncheon was sponsored by Aetna, Cigna and BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee.

The Leapfrog Group is a voluntary program whose mission is to support informed health care decision by those who use and pay for health care and to promote high-value health care through incentives and awards. Among other initiatives, Leapfrog works with its employer members to encourage transparency and easy access to health care information as well as rewards for hospitals that have a proven record of high quality care.

The Leapfrog Hospital Survey is the gold standard for comparing hospitals’ performance on the national standards of safety, quality and efficiency that are most relevant to consumers and purchasers of care.

MBGH is a coalition of the area’s largest employers. MBGH members, affiliates and supporters provide benefits to more than 300,000 people in the greater Memphis area and across Tennessee.

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