From the community

Nine rural Maine hospitals recognized in Leapfrog’s annual top hospitals

Posted Dec. 03, 2013, at 6:12 p.m.

PORTLAND, Maine — Nine Maine rural hospitals have been recognized by the Leapfrog Group in its annual list of the nation’s top hospitals based on safety and quality measures. The announcement came at Leapfrog’s annual meeting Dec. 3, which gathered key decision-makers from Leapfrog’s network of purchaser members, industry partners, health care stakeholders and national collaborators.

 “The field of hospitals’ considered for this year’s elite Leapfrog Top Hospital distinction was more competitive than ever. By achieving the Top Hospital accolade, these nine Maine hospitals have demonstrated exemplary performance across all areas of quality and patient safety that are analyzed on the Leapfrog Hospital Survey. If my family or friends needed care, I’d be comfortable sending them to these distinguished hospitals,” said Leah Binder, President & CEO of The Leapfrog Group, according to a press release.

 The nine Maine hospitals receiving top rural hospital designation are: Blue Hill Memorial Hospital, Calais Regional Hospital, Charles A. Dean Memorial Hospital in Greenville, Down East Community Hospital in Machias, Houlton Regional Hospital, Inland Hospital in Waterville, LincolnHealth Miles Campus in Damariscotta, Sebasticook Valley Health in Pittsfield and Stephens Memorial Hospital in Norway.

 Last year Maine placed five hospitals on the Top Rural Hospital list. In 2011, only one Maine hospital made the list. It should be noted that not all Maine rural hospitals qualify for consideration due to the vagaries of federal designation of what is considered a rural area. Goodall, Bridgeton and Penobscot Valley fall into this category and therefore are not eligible for consideration.

Maine stood out for having a large portion of its rural hospitals make the Leapfrog list. “In states where we see some of the highest Hospital Safety Scores, we see strong public-private partnerships to promote safety. This often includes business coalitions on health and other purchasers of health benefits actively promoting quality and safety for their employees, as well as policy leadership to enforce quality standards and transparency. The Maine Health Management Coalition has been a leader in advancing transparency and using data to drive change.  As a Maine native, I’m proud to acknowledge this exemplary performance,“ said Leah Binder.

 “These nine Maine rural hospitals are proof that using proven methods and building cultures of continuous improvement, rural Maine hospitals can provide excellent and safe care to their patients,” said Andrew Webber, CEO, Maine Health Management Coalition. “Maine should be proud of having the highest percentage of rural hospitals making this top list of hospitals. It is the result of hard work and commitment to high quality health care.”

 The Leapfrog Group (www.leapfroggroup.org) is a national organization using the collective leverage of large purchasers of health care to initiate breakthrough improvements in the safety, quality, and affordability of health care for Americans. The flagship Leapfrog Hospital Survey allows purchasers to structure their contracts and purchasing to reward the highest performing hospitals. The Leapfrog Group was founded in November 2000 with support from the Business Roundtable and national funders, and is now independently operated with support from its purchaser and other members.

The Maine Health Management Coalition is a non-profit organization whose over 60 members include public and private employers, hospitals, health plans, and doctors working together to measure and report health care value. The MHMC helps employers and their employees use this information to make informed decisions.

 Since 1993, the MHMC has played a leading role in health care quality measurement and public reporting, both in Maine and nationally, and has acted as a catalyst for quality improvement. Quality rankings for Maine hospitals and primary care physicians are available at www.getbettermaine.org.

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