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Gipson chosen by the Leapfrog Group for National Panel of Employer Benefit Innovators

Thursday, November 21, 2019 | 03:13pm

November 21, 2019 -- The Leapfrog Group, an independent national watchdog organization of employers and other purchasers focused on health care safety and quality, has announced the launch of the National Panel of Employer Benefit Innovators. The State of Tennessee is one of 10 major employers, including CBS, Walmart and General Motors, selected for the new national panel.

Kendra Gipson, the Department of Finance and Administration’s Benefits Administration Director of Vendor Services & Contracts, will represent Tennessee.

“This is an elite group of founding panelists selected for their exceptional record of innovation and dedication to improving health care quality and safety for their employees and dependents. We are excited for the opportunity to learn from these leaders so Leapfrog can continue to be on the vanguard of change in American health care,” said Leah Binder, Leapfrog President and CEO.

The panel will provide insight on key issues facing employers, share strategies for employee engagement in shopping for quality care, and help design and improve Leapfrog tools for employers seeking greater value from the health care system. The employer panel will also work with Leapfrog’s Health Plan Users Group (HPUG) to compare health plan effectiveness and partner to improve hospital quality and safety.  

In addition to the State of Tennessee, represented by Gipson, employers on the Innovators Panel include: 

  • CBS Corporation
  • Comcast NBCUniversal
  • General Motors
  • H-E-B
  • State of Delaware
  • State of Maine
  • Techtronic Industries North America, Inc.
  • University of Michigan
  • U. S. Steel
  • Walmart

“The majority of U.S. health care is paid for by employers, giving this group unique influence to make real change,” said Jill Berger, Leapfrog Senior Advisor and former vice president for benefits at Marriott International. “Leapfrog was founded by fearless employers, and for 20 years employer boldness has made us extraordinarily effective in addressing problems in our health care system. This panel will help us take yet another leap forward.”

Gipson was a Leapfrog Bruce Bradley Fellow in 2017-2018. The fellowship is a year-long education and training program sponsored by The Leapfrog Group for corporate-health professionals who want to take an active role in steering employees and their families to safer, higher-quality hospitals and health systems. One product from her work is the State of Tennessee’s monthly Know Your Health newsletter, sent to 129,450 state health plan members, designed to empower them to become smarter health care consumers.

Panelists were nominated by peers as well as by Leapfrog Regional Leaders, business coalitions on health across the country who drive change by representing Leapfrog’s voice in their communities.

Regional Leaders involved in the Innovators Panel include:

  • Economic Alliance for Michigan
  • Florida Alliance for Healthcare Value (formerly the Florida Health Care Coalition)
  • Greater Philadelphia Business Coalition on Health
  • Healthcare 21
  • Healthcare Purchaser Alliance of Maine
  • Midwest Business Group on Health
  • Pacific Business Group on Health
  • Pittsburgh Business Group on Health

The panel will meet annually to discuss key issues and opportunities, with the first meeting taking place in November 2019 in Washington, D.C. 

Founded in 2000 by large employers and other purchasers, The Leapfrog Group is a national nonprofit organization driving a movement for giant leaps forward in the quality and safety of American health care. The flagship Leapfrog Hospital Survey collects and transparently reports hospital performance, empowering purchasers to find the highest-value care and giving consumers the lifesaving information they need to make informed decisions. The Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade, Leapfrog’s other main initiative, assigns letter grades to hospitals based on their record of patient safety, helping consumers protect themselves and their families from errors, injuries, accidents, and infections.