Four clinics in the Duluth area were among those recognized for meeting achievement goals in the annual Minnesota Bridges to Excellence Program.

The program distributed nearly $700,000 in rewards to 147 clinics around the state that achieved specific results for patients with diabetes, vascular disease and depression. A news release from Minnesota Health Action Group, which administers the program, said these three conditions are the primary drivers of health-care costs.

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Clinics recognized in the Duluth area for achieving the highest levels of care were: Essentia Health Proctor Clinic (depression), Essentia Health Spooner Clinic (vascular disease), St. Luke's Mount Royal Clinic (depression) and the Cromwell Medical Clinic, which is part of the Integrity Health Network (diabetes).

The Spooner Clinic is eligible because it reports data from its Minnesota patients.

Across the entire Minnesota Bridges to Excellence program in 2012, 49 clinics were recognized for achieving optimal diabetes care, 108 for achieving optimal vascular care and 40 for achieving optimal depression care, the news release said.

The Minnesota Bridges to Excellence program, which was established by the Minnesota Health Action Group in 2005, relies on clinical data that are publicly reported, the news release said.