Leapfrog Group 10 years later

And a few an­nounce­ments from Mod­ern Health­care’s ed­i­to­rial staff

Modern Healthcare - - Opinions Editorials - DAVID BURDA Edi­tor

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 pbarr@modernhealth­care.com, and Blesch at gblesch@modernhealth­care.com.

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.

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