Hazel Hawkins Memorial Hospital has scored its first-ever “A” grade on the latest Leapfrog ratings that measure quality of care at hospitals across the nation.
The nationally renowned organization gave Hazel Hawkins its top letter grade, which is tabulated based on a variety of safety measures.
The grade came out during a San Benito Healthcare District Quality Practices Commission meeting Wednesday night. San Benito Live put in a California Public Records Act request with the hospital to receive meeting minutes that confirmed the A grade.
According to Leapfrog, the bi-annual grading assigns “A,” “B,” “C,” “D” and “F” letter grades to general acute-care hospitals in the U.S. It is the nation’s only rating focused entirely on errors, accidents, injuries and infections that collectively are the third leading cause of death in the United States, according to Leapfrog.
Leapfrog won’t officially release its latest grades until November, but a hospital quality director mentioned the matter at the commission meeting this week.
The ranking will come six years after Hazel Hawkins Memorial Hospital received an F grade from Leapfrog — which hospital officials attributed at the time to a decision against taking part in a voluntary survey that plays a major role in the scoring. Hazel Hawkins received a C grade in the spring. Nearly 1,900 hospitals have reported taking the voluntary Leapfrog survey so far in 2018.
The Leapfrog news comes while the hospital is in the aftermath of trying to pursue pursue a deal with Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital on a fiscal collaboration. That deal didn’t work out, as Salinas Valley Memorial declined to pursue a formal partnership. But then hospital officials in late September received a letter announcing the local healthcare district passed its most daunting hurdle toward a long-sought designation as a “critical access” facility — which would save the financially strapped healthcare district millions of dollars annually.
Gaining the critical access designation from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services would mean the Hollister hospital would receive full reimbursement from the federal government for those publicly funded services. Hospital leaders said if the change is ultimately approved, it would amount to $3 million to $4 million annually in additional revenue, which would all but wipe out the current structural deficit on the books.
Look back for more on the Leapfrog grade.