Boston, MA March 14, 2013 – The hospital quality watchdog group, The Leapfrog Group, of which the Group Insurance Commission is a founding member, recently announced that the national rate of early elective deliveries dropped for the second year.  According to data submitted to its annual Leapfrog Hospital Survey, early elective deliveries, (unnecessarily inducing labor or performing C-sections prior to 39 weeks of pregnancy), have been decreasing since 2010. This year, 46 per cent of the 773 reporting hospitals met Leapfrog’s early elective deliveries target rate of less than 5 per cent of total deliveries, up from 39 per cent in 2011. The Leapfrog Hospital Survey is the only national source of this data by hospital and was the first to publically report hospital rates beginning in 2010.


“Since The Leapfrog Group started drawing attention to the issue, we have seen encouraging improvements in hospital performance,” said Dolores L. Mitchell, Executive Director of the Group Insurance Commission. “The Leapfrog Group’s data shows that 71 per cent of Massachusetts hospitals either met or performed better than the target rate this year, compared with the national average of 46 per cent; evidence of the commitment many hospitals are making to put babies and mothers first. Still, more work is needed.”


Early elective deliveries can be dangerous, resulting in Neo-natal Intensive Care admissions, increased length of stay, and higher costs to patients and payers. Though Leapfrog remains the only organization reporting EED rates by hospitals, others are working to educate women, providers, and hospitals about the importance of reducing these high-risk births. Other groups such as March of Dimes, Childbirth Connection, Institute for Healthcare Improvement, Catalyst for Payment Reform, the Joint Commission, Partnership for Patients, and CMS as part of its Strong Start Initiative, have brought national and regional attention to this risky healthcare issue.


“We have been working with our health plans to encourage Massachusetts hospitals to make progress on this important patient safety issue and it’s good to see such encouraging progress as purchasers, plans and hospitals work together,” said Ms. Mitchell.


Rates of early elective deliveries by hospital, as well as statewide averages, are publicly available at the Leapfrog Group Website


About the Leapfrog Group

The Leapfrog Group is a national nonprofit 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 organizations including the Group Insurance Commission, and is now independently operated with support from its purchaser and other members.


About the Group Insurance Commission

The GIC was established by the Legislature in 1955 to provide health, life, and other benefits to state employees, retirees, and their dependents. The GIC also covers housing and redevelopment authorities' personnel, participating municipalities, and retired municipal employees and teachers in certain governmental units.  There are currently over 220,000 members and 400,000 lives covered by the GIC.  A seventeen-member commission representing labor, retirees, municipal management, the public interest, the Administration, and expertise in health economics governs the GIC.