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Leah Binder

Leah Binder

Leah Binder is president and CEO of the Leapfrog Group (Leapfrog), a national organization based in Washington, DC, representing employer purchasers of healthcare and calling for improvements in the safety and quality of the nation’s hospitals. Leapfrog is the leading voice for healthcare transparency and publicly reports on hospital performance through the annual Leapfrog Hospital Survey.

Under Binder’s leadership, Leapfrog launched the Hospital Safety Score, which assigns letter grades assessing the safety of general hospitals across the country. She has also fostered groundbreaking and successful partnerships to eliminate early elective deliveries and central line-associated bloodstream infections, and ensure safe use of health technology. 

For the past four years, she was named on Modern Healthcare’s list of the 100 Most Influential People in Healthcare, and in 2010 she was included in HealthLeader Magazine’s coverage of 20 People Making Health Care Better.

Binder sits on numerous national boards and committees, including the Institute of Medicine Collaboration on Patient Engagement, the National Priorities Partnership Board and the Advisory Board of the Institute for Interactive Patient Care. As a regular contributor on Forbes.com, she is an influential voice for major change in healthcare who frequently comments on hospital safety and quality and the importance of payment reform and transparency.

Prior to her position at Leapfrog, Binder spent eight years as vice president at Franklin Community Health Network, an award-winning rural hospital network in Farmington, Maine. She previously worked as a senior policy adviser for the office of Mayor Rudolph Giuliani in New York City and started her career at the National League for Nursing, where she handled policy and communications for more than six years. 

Binder has a bachelor’s degree from Brandeis University and two master’s degrees from the University of Pennsylvania — one from the Annenberg School of Communication and the other from the Fels Institute of Government.

Recent Articles by Leah Binder

Walmart on Health: Congress, Take Note

Away from the noise in Washington, there’s a quiet movement to improve healthcare and lower costs, and it’s making progress. The movement is led by employers and other large purchasers of health benefits. This is the third in my periodic profiles of some of the best strategies in the private sector. One of the most […]

Why Healthcare Must Be Transparent

The economics of American healthcare is undergoing a profound shift. Employers, policymakers and other purchasers are increasingly paying healthcare providers based on the benefit to the patient. For instance, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, (CMS) the agency that runs Medicare, adjusts payments to hospitals based on how well they perform on measures of patient […]

Important Alliance to Fight Health Costs

The Wall Street Journal reported that 20 large U.S. companies joined to fight high healthcare costs, launching the aptly named Health Transformation Alliance. Employers account for one in five dollars spent on healthcare in the U.S., yet they have relatively weak influence in the marketplace. But these influential companies are intent on aggressive action. With this […]

Federal Health Rule Hits Firms for Millions

America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) gather for their big meeting in Nashville this week, with many significant issues on the agenda, some of them headline news. For instance, industry insiders are watching closely the Supreme Court’s pending decision this month on King v. Burwell—which could remove health insurance subsidies in states that opted out of […]

4 Goals for the NFL’s Medical Officer

On the cusp of the 2015 Super Bowl, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell surprised fans with an unusual focus for his annual state of the league press conference: player safety. He announced that the league would hire a chief medical officer to oversee the league’s health policies. This is good news. But first and foremost, Goodell must firmly plant […]

How to Avoid Paying for Hospitals’ Errors

There’s been a lot of talk lately about value-based purchasing and price transparency in the U.S. healthcare system. With the proliferation of high-deductible health plans, consumers and payers are now actively chasing “value”— high-quality care at the right price. But what happens when “value” calculates to a grand total of zero—or even less than zero? […]

A Hospital That Leads World on Transparency

Jeremy Hunt, secretary of state for health in Britain, recently toured the Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle. He said the visit was “inspirational” and announced plans to have the British National Health Service (NHS) sign up “heart and soul” to a similar culture of safety and transparency. Hunt wants doctors and nurses in NHS […]

Three Surprising Hazards of Worksite Wellness Programs

Here's a proposal for the plot of a new comic book. Perry White summons Clark Kent and Lois Lane into his office one day in Metropolis. “I have bad news,” White barks. “Health costs at the Daily Planet are through the roof. And it's all your fault. You're unhealthy!” White tells Clark and Lois to […]

The Best Disruptive Writings Of 2013 – Health Care Edition

Clayton Christensen famously coined the term “disruptive innovation” to describe “simple business applications that relentlessly move up market, eventually displacing established competitors.” Disruption is not just change; it is change that gores somebody’s ox. There has never been a year like 2013 for disruptive writing about health care. Here are five “oxen” gored by the […]

Five Principles For Cracking Health Costs, Dave Ramsey-Style

Dave Ramsey is a Tennessee-based Christian author and talk-radio host, who advises on personal finance. As Jewish Northeasterners, my husband and I aren’t exactly his target demographic, but we have remained devoted fans for over eight years. Ramsey takes a common sense approach to managing money, as he puts it “we give you the same […]

How To Avoid Public Backlash Against Price Transparency

“Audiences in the Washington area have been erupting in whoops, whistles and applause when actress Helen Hunt, playing the single mother of a chronically ill child, denounces HMOs with a string of unprintable epithets,” the Washington Post recounts in a story in 1998. “Hunt's character quickly apologizes for the outburst, but actor Harold Ramis, playing […]

The Most Dangerous Place In The World

One Friday afternoon three years ago, Harvard Professor Ashish K. Jha found out his father had been taken to “one of the most dangerous places in the world.” Knowing as I do the energetic and courageous Professor Jha, I pictured a more senior version of him sky diving or climbing Mt. Katahdin. Unfortunately, the reality […]

The Cost of Healthcare: Should Employers Stop Worrying?

A report published by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) on high-value health care attracted attention when it was issued last June. Authored by a group of eleven leading hospital executives, A CEO Checklist for High-Value Health Care describes programs at various hospitals that resulted in quality improvements and lowered costs. The report has a section […]

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