For the first time, how well each of 552 physician practices in Minnesota manage their patients with diabetes and heart disease is now scored in a special edition of September's Consumer Reports, with each practice group assigned rating from a low of "1" to high of "5."
"I'm sure many of the practice sites in Minnesota that were given 1s and 2s are worried today, and this may not be a good week for them," said John Santa, MD, director of the Consumer Reports Health Rating Center.
He adds, however, that the data has been collected since 2002 and reported publicly with updates on the Minnesota Community Measurement website since 2004 under contract with the Minnesota Department of Health, so these clinics had plenty of time to raise their scores.
And while the information was not risk-adjusted to reflect patient income, health literacy, race or ethnicity, those factors aren't an excuse because some practices with that population of patient mix scored very high while some scored very low, he says. Likewise, practices treating patients in more affluent communities also had wide variation in their scores.