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Description:
The Leapfrog group uses a rewards incentives program to encourage improvement in the health care industry. A sort of 'consumer report' of hospitals is also made available through 'The Leapfrog Group' not only to inform consumers (patients), but to also reward health care providers that give excellent service through positive publicity.
An October 2009 company overview from BusinessWeek states: “The Leapfrog Group provides sales promotion, incentive, loyalty, and reward programs for improving sales and business performance. It offers promotion and incentive solutions, loyalty and reward solutions, and travel and lifestyle solutions, including holiday packages and hotel accommodations online travel programs, travel prizes, and travel coupons and vouchers. The company’s services include concept development, design, sourcing suppliers, and day-to-day program management.”(1)
"The Leapfrog Group officially launched in November 2000" (2), but its idea was originally conceived in 1998 by a large group of employers looking for ways to increase the health of their employees and lower their own costs. There is much speculation of whether or not the group has done any good, but with the current state of health care in America, downplaying any attempts at improvements seems ill advised.
A recent key development for The Leapfrog Group was the election of David Knowlton as chair of The Leapfrog Group Board of Directors, effective June 17, 2009. Knowlton is President and CEO of the New Jersey Quality Institute.

Applications:

As with all businesses, health care providers are more likely to respond to incentives than anything else. By rewarding health care providers for improving the affordability, safety, and quality of health care, it is expected that there will be an increase in the quality of health care as a whole. This will also help to persuade doctors to use technology, thus aiding the implementation of national standard practices.
In 2009, the Leapfrog Hospital Rewards Program (LHRP) was launched to reward those hospitals that have shown an effort to better the quality of health care in this country. The idea of the LHRP is to provide hospitals with the incentives of recognition and rewards to promote proficiency in the areas of patient safety, quality, and resource utilization.
“To be eligible for rewards through LHRP, a hospital must complete and submit the Leapfrog Hospital Survey by the deadline specified by the local payer that has licensed and administered the program. In most cases, the deadline is June 30 for initial results and December 31 for calendar-year results.”(3)

Web Resources:
http://www.leapfroggroup.org/home

Related Terminology:
Presidential initiative to improve Health care

Citations/References:
1) http://investing.businessweek.com/research/stocks/private/snapshot.asp?privcapId=36114774

2) http://www.leapfroggroup.org/about_us/how_and_why
3) http://www.leapfroggroup.org/for_hospitals/fh-incentives_and_rewards/hosp_rewards_prog/4751817/4752337

Graphics:
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