Leapfrog Group 10 years later
And a few announcements from Modern Healthcare’s editorial staff
Way back in December 2000, I received an invitation to attend a briefing at an upscale restaurant in Chicago with the brass of some major employers that had just announced the creation of a new organization to push hospitals to improve their safety record. Being a bit naive about how journalists think and behave, they asked me to contact a number of other healthcare reporters in Chicago and bring them along to the briefing. Somehow, I showed up by my lonesome for the exclusive details on how the new organization was going to work.
Late last month—nearly 10 years after that initial encounter—I dined with some of the same executives and hundreds of others at a gala celebrating the 10-year anniversary of the organization they founded: The Leapfrog Group. Backed by the healthcare purchasing power of some of the nation’s largest employers, the Leapfrog Group helped pressure hospitals into becoming more transparent about their clinical performance and safety record. For years, the hospitals were less than thrilled about an organization outside of healthcare telling them what to do. But slowly things have changed as more payers, including now the federal government, refuse to pay for substandard care and medical mistakes. Ten years later, hospitals not doing everything they can to improve care are the outsiders.
Jessica Zigmond, our Washington bureau chief, also attended the gala, and we interviewed the CEOs of two systems that were quick to embrace what the Leapfrog Group was trying to do: Virginia Mason Health System, Seattle, and the University of Maryland Medical Center, Baltimore. You can watch those video interviews at modernhealthcare.com/videos.
Like many of the health systems and organizations we cover, we’re doing a little re-organizing at Modern Healthcare to better cope with the new demands of the healthcare marketplace and how we cover it. Paul Barr, 47, our news editor for the last five years, is taking over our public health and specialty care beat from Zigmond, who was promoted to Washington bureau chief. Prior to becoming news editor, Barr was our finance reporter. He brings that knowledge and his experience as news editor to his new beats as he returns to our reporting ranks. Gregg Blesch, 37, our legal affairs reporter since 2007, has been promoted to news editor and takes over for Barr. Blesch has done a tremendous job for us as a reporter, covering some of the biggest stories of the past few years. He’ll bring that insight and energy to his new position, overseeing our news operations in print and online. You can reach Barr at email@example.com, and Blesch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Modern Healthcare and sister publication Modern Physician have been honored with two prestigious digital editorial awards from the American Society of Business Publication Editors. The ASBPE Awards of Excellence recognize the work and commitment of business publication editors to editorial excellence. In a digital-only national editorial competition,
Modern Healthcare received a Gold Award for Web News Section for its news section on ModernHealthcare.com. Meanwhile, Modern Physician garnered a Gold Award for E-Newsletter/General Excellence for its bimonthly e-newsletter Modern Physician. These awards come on top of the record 11 national and regional ASBPE print editorial awards earned by Modern Healthcare earlier this year.