• Goal2

    Our goal is continued economic growth in Michigan with policies attracting employees and employers to work and do business in our state.

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  • Impact2

    The EAM is impact.

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  • LeapFrog

    The EAM is Michigan’s Regional Roll-Out Leader for The LeapFrog Group.  A coalition advocating for improved transparency, quality, and safety in hospitals.

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Majority of U.S. Hospitals Still Fail to Implement ICU Policies Known to Dramatically Lower Patient Death Rates


Analysis of The Leapfrog Hospital Survey by Castlight Health Shows Less than Half of Michigan Hospitals Met Standard for Specialized Physician Coverage

July 14, 2016 Hospital intensive care units (ICU) see 4.6 million people annually, among them some of the nation’s sickest and most vulnerable patients. Studies show that patient survival increases by 40 percent when ICUs are staffed appropriately with highly specialized physicians called intensivists, yet a new report released by health care non-profit The Leapfrog Group and analyzed by Castlight Health indicates that only 47 percent of hospitals reporting in the 2015 Leapfrog Hospital Survey have the recommended intensivist coverage in place. Leapfrog’s standard calls for hospitals to have one or more board-certified intensivists on staff, exclusively providing care in the ICU, available for eight hours per day, seven days a week, and for intensivists to return calls within five minutes, 95 percent of the time. Hospitals can partially meet the standard by having intensivists available via telemedicine.

In Michigan, 44 percent of reporting hospitals fully meet Leapfrog’s ICU standards with 75 hospitals refusing to participate in the patient safety transparency survey.

Most notable results from the survey include the University of Michigan, Henry Ford Hospital, St. Joseph Mercy Health System, and the Detroit Medical Center (DMC), in which all five DMC hospitals fully meet ICU standards: Detroit Receiving, Haper-Hutzel, Huron Valley-Sinai, Sinai-Grace and Children’s Hospital of Michigan. The three dedicated children’s hospitals in Michigan, C.S. Mott, Children’s Hospital of Michigan and Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, also fully meet Leapfrog’s ICU standards.

“The Economic Alliance for Michigan (EAM) applauds hospitals like DMC, U of M, Henry Ford and St. Joes that continue to participate in transparency reporting and dedication in providing excellent patient safety and quality of care to residents of Michigan,” said Bret Jackson, president, EAM. “We hope every hospital system will participate in the 2016 Leapfrog Survey and demonstrate their determination in improving patient safety.”

“Having an intensivist present in the ICU saves lives, period,” said Leah Binder, president and CEO of Leapfrog. “Patients and families should be on high alert if their hospital lacks this essential coverage. Moreover, if their hospital has declined to report at all, the public has no way of knowing about how the ICU is staffed. Patients who find that their hospital did not respond to the Leapfrog Hospital Survey should send a note to hospital administrators explaining why they want this information and expect full transparency.”

Other Key findings from the report include:

  • Hospitals’ adoption of ICU physician staffing standards varies by state: The percentage of hospitals meeting Leapfrog’s standard was highest in Arizona, where 87 percent of reporting hospitals in the state met the standard. At least 60 percent of hospitals met the standard in six additional states, while in 10 states, fewer than 30 percent of hospitals did. There was no state in which 90 percent or more of hospitals met the standard.
  • Implementation of ICU physician staffing has increased steadily, but has yet to surpass the 50 percent mark: In 2007, only 30 percent of hospitals had ICU physician staffing that met Leapfrog’s standards. By 2015, that rate had increased to 47 percent. In recent years, there has been a slow but steady increase of one to four percentage points.
  • More transparency is needed: Some hospitals decline to report on their ICU staffing, which should raise concerns for patients. There is no other publicly available source for this information.

“Hospital quality and cost information is vital to enabling individuals to make the best choices for their health,” said Kristin Torres Mowat, senior vice president of plan development and data operations at Castlight Health. “Leapfrog’s data illustrates how essential it is to report ICU physician staffing. Proper intensivist staffing is crucial to the proper care of patients with the most critical need. This study and Leapfrog’s work are important to driving visibility and change in hospital practices, which will ultimately lead to better patient care.”

This report is the last in this year’s series of five that examines key quality and safety measures at hospitals nationwide. The series draws on data from the 2015 Leapfrog Hospital Survey of 1,750 U.S. hospitals, representing 60 percent of the inpatient beds nationwide, with analysis provided by Castlight Health. Previous publications in the series can be found at http://www.leapfroggroup.org/HospitalSurveyReport.

Increased Patient Safety Saves Lives and Dollars

hospital safety

You go to the hospital for a routine surgical procedure that requires a one to two day stay. On day two you start running a fever and tests confirm you have a potentially life-threatening infection in your bloodstream called Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus, otherwise known as the antibiotic resistant MRSA superbug. Luckily, after 15 additional days in the hospital, you recover and head home.

You are now part of a statistic – the 1 in 25 patients who receive a hospital acquired infection that is completely preventable.[i]

Medical errors cause more deaths annually in the United States than breast cancer, vehicle accidents or drug overdose. According to the British Medical Journal, it is the number three killer, responsible for an estimated 251,454 deaths in the U.S. in 2013.

As a society we have dedicated an entire month to breast cancer awareness, created seat belt laws and countless public service announcements and programs for drug prevention. Yet, we have done very little to improve or bring awareness of patient safety into our homes and communities.

The U.S. spends more on healthcare than other high-income countries but our healthcare system is the least effective. Medical errors are costly.

Current research shows medical errors may account for an estimated 400,000 preventable injuries in the U.S. per year, costing upward toward $1 trillion in quality-adjusted life years lost to patients who die from medical errors.[ii]

Who pays for these medical errors? The majority, some estimate 78 percent, of medical error costs is externalized onto patients, government and employers.[iii] Healthcare is one of the few industries not held financially accountable for preventable mishaps.

One answer to reducing health costs is improving patient safety.  If government, hospitals, and patients work together to improve patient safety, millions of health care dollars and thousands of lives will be saved.

A national nonprofit group for hospital transparency and safety, The Leapfrog Group, recently released the Spring 2016 Hospital Safety Scores. In Michigan, 26 hospitals scored an “A”, 13 a “B”, 37 a “C”, three received “D’s”, and one scored an “F”. Based on State of Michigan hospital discharges in 2014, known medical errors accounted for $1.8 billion in health care costs and lost productivity.[iv]

The Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality, part of Johns Hopkins Medicine, estimates that nationally 33,459 could be saved annually if “B-F” hospitals had the same patient safety results as “A” hospitals.  In Michigan, if all the “B-F” hospitals became “A” hospitals for patient safety, an estimated 1,254 lives will be saved per year.

What can you do?

Advocate and Educate.

Advocate for yourself as a patient and on behalf of loved ones.  Ask your doctor lots of questions. Take someone with you to appointments as your patient advocate. Parents and guardians need to speak up if they feel a child’s care is inadequate. An online research article in the April 2016 issue of JAMA Pediatrics proclaimed that 62 percent of reported safety incidences by parents were found to be medical errors.

Educate yourself and others on patient safety. Hospital errors may include accidents, medication mistakes and hospital acquired infections. Patient safety differs from patient satisfaction. You can be at a hospital that looks and feels like a five-star resort and still experience a medical error if the hospital is not performing up-to-par safety procedures. Lastly, know before you go. Research and explore all the various hospital and surgeon safety grading systems that are publicly assessable online.

For more information on hospital patient safety go to www.hosptialsafetyscore.org.


[i] http://www.cnn.com/2014/03/26/health/hospital-infections/.

[ii] http://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/deaths-by-medical-mistakes-hit-records.

[iii] http://www.commonwealthfund.org/publications/in-the-literature/2008/apr/who-pays-for-medical-errors—an-analysis-of-adverse-event-costs–the-medical-liability-system–and.

[iv] The Leapfrog Group Hidden Surcharge Calculator: http://www.leapfroggroup.org/employers-purchasers/hidden-surcharge-calculator.

Does your hospital have a “never event” policy?


According to report, 85 percent of reporting Michigan hospitals have “Never Events” policies

One in five U.S. hospitals fail to adopt crucial “Never Events” policies

In 2007, The Leapfrog Group, a Washington, D.C. based organization representing consumers, employers and other purchasers in efforts to improve health care safety and quality, began asking hospitals about their process for handling Never Events – or incidents such as objects left inside patients after surgery, deaths from medication errors, deaths or serious injuries from falls, and surgeries performed on the wrong parts of patients’ bodies.

According to a report released by Leapfrog and analyzed by Castlight Health, one in five hospitals still fail to adopt a Never Events policy and otherwise do not meet Leapfrog’s standard for Never Events Management.

“Never Events are egregious and they truly should never happen, but at the very least if they do happen, we expect hospitals to take the most humane and ethical approach,” said Leah Binder, president and CEO of Leapfrog. “Unfortunately, many hospitals still won’t commit to doing the right thing, including apologizing to the patient or family and not charging for the event. We should see 100 percent of hospitals with the Leapfrog policy.”

She added that the most worrisome hospitals are those that decline to respond to the question about whether they have a policy.

Additional key findings include:

  • Adoption of Never Events policies varies by state: The percentage of hospitals meeting Leapfrog’s standard was highest in Washington, Maine and Massachusetts, where 100 percent of hospitals reporting in those states met the standard. In Michigan, 85 percent of reporting hospitals met the standard. Alternatively, in Arizona, only 10 percent of hospitals met the standard.
  • Implementation of Never Events policies has plateaued: In the years following the addition of Never Events Management to the Leapfrog Hospital Survey, there was a surge of hospitals meeting the standard. In 2007, only 53 percent of hospitals met the standard, and by 2012 that rate increased to 79 percent. Since then, progress has stalled around 80 percent.
  • More transparency and quality improvement are needed: Wrong-site surgery occurs in an estimated 1 out of 100,000 procedures, and doctors or staff leave a foreign object inside a patient in an estimated 1 out of 10,000 procedures. While the probability appears low, those affected by Never Events risk “serious injury or death,” as stated by the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Seventy-six Michigan hospitals declined to respond to the survey.

“Every hospital should have “never events” policies to show respect to the patients and families involved in such unfortunate events,” said Bret Jackson, president, Economic Alliance for Michigan. “The policy should be public and include an apology, analysis and report of the event, and waive all costs to the patient and family.”

“How a hospital responds to a Never Event is a critical aspect of patient safety, and hospitals are accountable for the care patients receive during their stay,” said Kristin Torres Mowat, senior vice president of plan development and data operations at Castlight Health. “Castlight’s work with The Leapfrog Group helps empower patients with the information needed to make the right choices for their health.  A hospital’s clinical quality and safety are critical to enable well-informed decision making and can ultimately lead to improved outcomes for patients.”

This report is the fourth in a series of five that examines key quality and safety measures at hospitals nationwide. The series draws on data from the 2015 Leapfrog Hospital Survey of 1,750 U.S. hospitals, representing 60% of the inpatient beds nationwide, with analysis provided by Castlight Health. Previous and future publications in the series can be found at http://www.leapfroggroup.org/HospitalSurveyReport.


53 percent of Michigan hospitals with labor and delivery units do not disclose patient safety

mom and baby

According to new maternity care report, 53 percent of Michigan hospitals with labor and delivery units do not disclose patient safety

DMC Harper-Hutzel only Michigan hospital to meet all standards

NOVI, MICHIGAN – May 5, 2016:  The Economic Alliance for Michigan (EAM), along with The Leapfrog Group, released today its 2016 Maternity Care Report, an in-depth look at one of the leading causes of hospitalizations for privately-insured women ages 19 to 44. According to the report, as analyzed by Castlight Health, while there has been important quality improvements on episiotomies and early elective delivery rates by hospitals, many hospitals are still not meeting national performance targets for quality metrics.

The report reveals that transparency of maternity care remains an issue in Michigan. Fifty-three percent of hospitals with labor and delivery units in the state “declined to respond” to the Leapfrog survey.

“There are major health systems who boast how great their hospitals are to give birth at but yet do not participate in transparency reporting,” said Bret Jackson, president of EAM. “Giving birth, starting a family is a lifetime milestone and patients have the right to know which hospitals are the safest for both baby and mother.”

“Private employers, unions, states, and localities have long pushed for public reporting of these measures, because maternity care is so important to their members,” said Leah Binder, president and CEO of Leapfrog. “We believe families deserve to know how hospitals are doing, so they can make good decisions on where to give birth, and avoid unnecessary risks and expense to the mother and the baby.”

Of the 39 reporting hospitals, 33 meet Leapfrog’s early elective delivery rates – inductions or C-sections performed before 39 weeks gestation without medical necessity.  A low early elective delivery rate indicates that the hospital is taking important steps to minimize risks to the mother and baby by delivering too soon.

In Michigan, only one hospital, DMC Harper-Hutzel Hospital in Detroit, satisfied all four measured standards:  episiotomy rates, cesarean sections rates, early elective delivery rates and high-risk deliveries.

Key findings from the Maternity Care Report for Michigan include:

  • 13 hospitals meet standards for episiotomy rates: An episiotomy is a once routine incision made in the birth canal during childbirth that is now recommended only for a narrow set of cases. Leapfrog’s target for all hospitals is 5% or less. Hospitals meeting this standard are: Bronson Methodist in Kalamazoo, C.S. Mott in Ann Arbor, DMC Harper-Hutzel in Detroit, Henry Ford Macomb in Clinton Township, Mercy Health Hackley Campus in Muskegon, Mercy Health Saint Mary’s in Grand Rapids, Metro Health in Wyoming, DMC Sinai-Grace in Detroit, Sparrow Carson City Hospital, Sparrow Hospital in Lansing, Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial in Fremont and Spectrum Health United in Greenville.
  • Hospitals continue to perform too many C-sections: Leapfrog utilizes the endorsed NTSV C-section measure, and finds (nationally) that at 60% of reporting hospitals, the C-section rate was too high, surpassing Leapfrog’s target rate of 23.9% for all hospitals. Variation is dramatic, ranging from a low as 10% to as high as 54% in one east coast city. Eleven Michigan hospitals fully meet the C-section standard:  Bronson Battle Creek, C.S. Mott in Ann Arbor, Garden City Hospital, DMC Harper-Hutzel in Detroit, Henry Ford Wyandotte Hospital, McLaren Macomb in Mount Clemens, Mercy Health Hackley Campus in Muskegon, OSF St. Francis in Escanaba, Spectrum Health United in Greenville, Spectrum Health Zeeland Community Hospital and St. Mary Mercy Hospital in Livonia.
  • Many hospitals don’t have adequate experience with high-risk deliveries: Very low birth weight Infants born with complications are more likely to survive if their hospital has an experienced NICU on-site, yet nationally, 78% of hospitals performing high-risk deliveries do not meet Leapfrog’s standard. Of the 21 hospitals with neonatal intensive care services (level III+) only 3 hospitals in Michigan fully meet this standard: DMC Harper-Hutzel Hospital in Detroit, Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids and St. Joseph Mercy Oakland in Pontiac.

The complete Maternity Care Report is available online. Other publicly available resources include:

This report is part of a series of six reports examining key quality and safety measures at hospitals nationwide based on data from the 2015 Leapfrog Hospital Survey of 1,750 U.S. hospitals and analysis provided by Castlight Health. Future publications in the report series will be available at http://www.leapfroggroup.org/HospitalSurveyReport.

2016 Patient Safety Grades Announced, 26 Michigan Hospitals Receive “A” Grade, 46 percent of Michigan Hospitals Graded “C” Level

Corresponding study reports selecting the right hospital can reduce your risk of avoidable death by 50 percent

Released:  April 25, 2016 – The Economic Alliance for Michigan (EAM) announced today the release of the April 2016 Hospital Safety Scores, published by national nonprofit watchdog The Leapfrog Group. Assigning A, B, C, D, and F letter grades, the Score provides the most complete picture of avoidable hospital errors, accidents and infections that kill or harm tens of thousands of patients every year. New for this update are the grading factors in five measures of patient experience that have been correlated with the hospital’s safety record, as well as two common and deadly infections, MRSA and C.diff.

A new report released alongside The Leapfrog Group’s Hospital Safety Score April 2016 update finds that 33,000 lives would be saved if all hospitals performed as safely as A hospitals. Compared to A hospitals, patients face a 9% higher risk of dying from a preventable harm in B hospitals, 35% higher in C hospitals and 50% higher in D and F hospitals. The report was produced for Leapfrog by Matt Austin, Ph.D., director of The Leapfrog Hospital Survey, assistant professor of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine at John Hopkins University School of Medicine, and faculty member at the Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality.

Michigan hospital highlights:

  • Of the 80 Michigan hospitals issued a Hospital Safety Score, 26 earned an A; 13 earned a B; 37 earned a C; 3 earned a D; and one earned an F.
  • Five hospitals have earned straight A’s since the inception of Hospital Safety Score in 2013. They are Allegiance Health in Jackson, Dickinson County Healthcare System in Iron Mountain, Huron Valley-Sinai Hospital in Commerce Township, Mercy Health Saint Mary’s in Grand Rapids, and University of Michigan Hospitals and Health Centers in Ann Arbor.
  • Hospitals can use the Hospital Safety Score as benchmark to improve upon and/or maintain excellent patient safety.
  • When choosing a hospital, patients can use the Hospital Safety Score to reduce their risks of hospital acquired infections.
  • Employers can save money by recommending employees use high-performing hospitals.

“There is a large cost difference between a C-F hospital and an A hospital. That cost is not only in dollars, but we now know the cost is also in lives,” said Bret Jackson, EAM President. “Excellent patient safety is what every hospital should strive for.”

“It is time for every hospital in America to put patient safety at the top of their priority list. Tens of thousands of lives are stake,” said Leah Binder, President and CEO of The Leapfrog Group.

The Hospital Safety Score assigns A, B, C, D and F grades to more than 2,500 U.S. hospitals twice per year. It is calculated by top patient safety experts, peer-reviewed, fully transparent and free to the public. For more information about the Hospital Safety Score or to view the list of state rankings, please visit www.hospitalsafetyscore.org. To learn how employers are footing the bill for hospital errors, visit Leapfrog’s Cost Calculator. Journalists interested in scheduling an interview with The Leapfrog Group should contact LeapfrogMediaGroup@sternstrategy.com. Michigan specific inquires contact The Economic Alliance for Michigan.

Spring 2016 “A” Hospitals City
Allegiance Health Jackson
Community Health Center of Branch County Coldwater
Dickinson County Healthcare System Iron Mountain
Garden City Hospital Garden City
Huron Valley-Sinai Hospital Commerce Township
McLaren Central Michigan Mount Pleasant
Mercy Health Saint Mary’s Grand Rapids
Mercy Health of Cadillac Cadillac
Mercy Health of Grayling Grayling
MidMichigan Medical Center – Clare Clare
MidMichigan Medical Center – Gratiot Alma
MidMichigan Medical Center – Midland Midland
North Ottawa Community Hospital Grand Haven
Oaklawn Hospital Marshall
Otsego Memorial Hospital Gaylord
ProMedica Bixby Hospital Adrian
Sparrow Hospital Lansing
Spectrum Health Big Rapids Big Rapids
Spectrum Health Blodgett Grand Rapids
Spectrum Health Butterworth Grand Rapids
Spectrum Health Ludington Ludington
St. John River District Hospital East China
St. Joseph Mercy – Chelsea Chelsea
Sturgis Hospital Sturgis
University of Michigan Hospitals and Health Centers Ann Arbor
War Memorial Hospital Sault Sainte Marie
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