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In lawsuit defense, Leapfrog says hospital failed to review self-reported data

Chicago-based Saint Anthony sued Leapfrog for giving the hospital an inaccurate grade but Leapfrog claims grade is based on self-submitted data.

Jessica Davis, Associate Editor

Leapfrog Group responded to a lawsuit claiming it gave Chicago-based Saint Anthony Hospital an inaccurate patient safety grade on Wednesday. The official affirmative defense is that the hospital failed to review its own self-reported data within the "well-publicized timetable."

Saint Anthony filed a lawsuit against Leapfrog in November, alleging that Leapfrog knowingly used inaccurate CPOE data when it lowered the hospital's patient safety grade. Further, the hospital claimed its grade that was lowered from A to a C was inaccurate.

"Leapfrog adheres to established and well-publicized policies and processes to maintain consistency and reliability in administering the program and calculating safety grades," according to the defense.

As part of the program, Leapfrog established a timeframe for all hospitals to submit data so all of the data can be "evaluated under consistent conditions and in a uniform timeframe."

But Leapfrog's official defense is that Saint Anthony failed to review its own data submission -- including the CPOE data which the hospital submitted on its own using the online survey tool in June.

The data in question was that about 60 percent of inpatient medication orders were processed through CPOE, which was submitted by the hospital. The provider completed an 'Affirmation of Accuracy,' certifying the data was true, accurate and reflected normal hospital circumstances.

While the information may be inaccurate, according to Leapfrog, Saint Anthony had four time periods to look at the data and make necessary requests. But each time, the hospital failed to review its own results and modify survey responses to CPOE data and other areas.

The company provided all hospitals a two week period in June before the data was published online. This time period would've given Saint Anthony the opportunity to review its own results -- based solely on its own self-reported data -- before it was published on the website on July 25.

Leapfrog also notified all of the hospitals to complete or update the survey responses by Aug. 31. And on Sept. 13, the company opened a three-week data review period for its Fall safety grades, so participants could review data from all included sources used to calculate grades.

Leapfrog also claimed that in October, Saint Anthony actually logged into the survey tool -- but didn't change any of the responses to the CPOE data. And on Oct. 12, there was yet another two-week embargo period to review the grades before publication -- and again Saint Anthony failed to respond.

In fact, Leapfrog claimed that it was only six days before the publication date that Saint Anthony first indicated to the company that it believed the CPOE data it provided was inaccurate -- which led to the inaccurate grade.

It's Leapfrog's assertion that Saint Anthony is responsible for its grade, given the failure to review its own data. The company said that it also offered to help the hospital through the process of documenting updated CPOE data and re-submitting the survey.

However, given the established policies, the update won't change the current C-grade given this fall.

"Plaintiff to date has been unable to verify that an update to its CPOE data is even warranted," the document reads. "In short, this lawsuit is Plaintiff's eleventh hour gambit to turn back the clock on a disappointing safety grade based in part on the data… itself provided and certified, and which Leapfrog simply used in accordance with its long-established processes."

Saint Anthony failed to respond to a request for comment by time for publication. We'll update if more information becomes available.

 

Twitter: @JessieFDavis
Email the writer: jessica.davis@himssmedia.com

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