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ACMC, Family Practice among top medical groups in west central Minn.

WILLMAR -- Affiliated Community Medical Centers and Family Practice Medical Center of Willmar held the region's top rankings for diabetes and vascular care, according to a new Consumer Reports survey appearing in a special edition of the magazine.

Consumer Reports looked at 552 physician group practices in Minnesota and rated them on cost and quality of care, using data compiled by Minnesota Community Measurement.

Unlike most top-doctor ratings, the new Consumer Reports rankings are based on quantifiable measures collected by the physician practices themselves on how well they and their patients control diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Scores are based on the percentage of patients who achieve all of the targets for the best management of each of the two conditions. This includes control of both blood pressure and cholesterol levels and, for diabetes, blood sugar levels. It also includes nonsmoking status and taking low-dose daily aspirin when appropriate to prevent heart attacks.

Clinics delivering high-quality care for diabetes and cardiovascular disease were found throughout the state, and 37 practices earned the highest rating from Consumer Reports in both categories.

Sixty-six practices earned the lowest score for diabetes care, 50 received the lowest score for cardiovascular care, and 24 had the lowest score in both.

The best scores in southwestern Minnesota were earned by ACMC and Family Practice Medical Center. The practice-by-practice rankings appear in a special version of Consumer Reports magazine available to subscribers and at newsstands in Minnesota. The ratings also are available online at