By Melissa Patrick
Kentucky Health News
A nonprofit group that gives letter grades twice a year to hospitals for patient safety has again given grades of C to most Kentucky hospitals on its list.
The Leapfrog Group, based in Washington, D.C., rated nearly 3,000 general acute-care hospitals. Most of Kentucky’s 126 hospitals were not rated.
The group does not grade small hospitals with “critical access” status because they don’t have to report quality measures to the federal government; nor does it grade specialty hospitals, government hospitals, or hospitals that don’t have enough publicly reported data.
The report uses data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Leapfrog’s own survey and other supplemental data sources. Hospitals are only graded if they have submitted adequate data for evaluation, Leapfrog says.
The Leapfrog site offers details on a number of measures, under headings titled Infections, Problems with Surgery, Practices to Prevent Errors, Safety Problems, and Doctors, Nurses and Hospital Staff. It also includes an easy-to-read, color-coded scale that indicates how the hospital is performing.
After receiving Cs and one D since spring 2016, Ephraim McDowell Regional Medical Center in Danville rose to a B on the latest report.
The Albert B. Chandler Hospital at the University of Kentucky also moved up to a B after receiving Cs and one D since fall 2018.
Three others also moved up to a B, after getting a C last time: Baptist Health Deaconess Madisonville; Glasgow’s T.J. Samson Community Hospital; and Leitchfield’s Twin Lakes Regional Medical Center, which has joined the Owensboro Health system.
Owensboro Health’s main hospital fell moved from A to B, as did three others: Baptist Health Paducah; Bowling Green’s TriStar Greenview Regional Hospital and Middlesboro ARH Hospital.
Other hospitals with B grades are Baptist Health Louisville; Winchester’s Clark Regional Medical Center; Frankfort Regional Medical Center; Lexington’s Saint Joseph East; and St. Elizabeth Heatlhcare-Edgewood.
Almost half the 55 Kentucky hospitals graded by Leapfrog got Cs on the latest report. Of those, most of them also got a C on the last report; nine moved down from a higher grade.
After getting seven and three As in a row, respectively, St. Elizabeth Healthcare-Florence and Flaget Memorial Hospital in Bardstown fell to the C level.
Seven hospitals dropped to a C after having Bs last time: Advent Health Manchester; Baptist Health La Grange; Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital in Somerset; St. Joseph Mount Sterling; St. Joseph-London; Tug Valley ARH Regional Medical Center in South Williamson; and U of L Health-Sts. Mary and Elizabeth Hospital in Louisville.
After receiving seven Cs in a row, St. Claire Regional Medical Center in Morehead fell to a D. The other four hospitals with Ds got the same grade on the last report: Murray-Calloway County Hospital; Hopkinsville’s Jennie Stuart Health; Pikeville Medical Center and Taylor Regional Hospital in Campbellsville.