Healthcare Economy

These Are the Worst Hospitals in America

Hospital quality and safety research firm Leapfrog Group releases its Hospital Safety Grades twice a year. The most recent was the edition for fall 2020, which was issued on December 15. Hospitals receive grades A through F. The new Leapfrog analysis gives 16 hospitals the lowest grade.

Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade is created by a formula that takes into account as many as 27 national performance metrics. These include patient safety measures that “indicate how well hospitals protect patients from preventable errors, injuries and infections.” Over 2,600 hospitals receive grades nationwide. Some hospitals are excluded. Among those left out are what Leapfrog considers critical access hospitals and some specialty hospitals, like those that care exclusively for children.

The evaluations are sorted into two basic categories. The first, “Outcome Measures,” includes infections, falls, trauma and “preventable complications” from surgery. The “Process/Structural Measures” category includes nursing quality, the presence of computer systems that can help prevent mistakes in what medicines patients receive, hand hygiene and proper levels of staff in intensive care units.

Most of the data Leapfrog uses come from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and its own surveys.

Leapfrog’s grades have sometimes been controversial. At least one hospital has sued the firm because of a low grade. On a broader level, Becker’s Hospital Review reported in 2017 that “After analyzing The Leapfrog Group’s Hospital Safety Grade system, researchers from Ann Arbor-based University of Michigan determined hospitals may receive higher grades if they don’t self-report certain scores to the patient safety watchdog group.”

Becker’s also sorted through the entire Leapfrog Fall 2020 Hospital Safety Grades to pick those that received the lowest possible grade, an F. These are the 16 hospitals on that list:

Ouachita County Medical Center (Camden)

San Joaquin General Hospital (French Camp)

Bayfront Health Brooksville
Bayfront Health Seven Rivers (Crystal River)
Bayfront Health Spring Hill

Gateway Regional Medical Center (Granite City)
John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital (Chicago)

Southwest Medical Center (Liberal)

St. Alexius Hospital-Broadway Campus (St. Louis)

North Dakota
Sanford Broadway Medical Center (Fargo)

New York
Ellis Hospital (Schenectady)
Maimonides Medical Center (New York City)

Comanche County Memorial Hospital (Lawton)

South Carolina
MUSC Health-Marion Medical Center (Mullins)
Regional Medical Center of Orangeburg and Calhoun Counties

Tennova Healthcare-Harton (Tullahoma)

A special thanks to Becker’s for the work.