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American Medical Group Association

The Center for Business Analytics is pleased to recognize American Medical Group Association as an honoree of the 2023 Drexel LeBow Analytics 50 Awards. Read more about how American Medical Group Association used analytics to solve a business challenge.


Elizabeth L. Ciemins, PhD, Vice President, Research and Analytics


American Medical Group Association


Health Care

Business Challenge

Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the second-most common cause of cancer death in the U.S. When diagnosed early, the five-year survival rate is over 90 percent. Stool-based screening tests are an effective option for people at average risk, but if it’s positive, it must be followed by a colonoscopy within six months. However, the existing standard quality measure focuses on initial screening only. Since organizations use quality measures to prioritize improvement initiatives, a measure for CRC screening that fails to reflect the full testing process is a critical blind spot.

Analytics Solution

By examining data from the electronic health records (EHRs) of 21 American Medical Group Association (AMGA) members, the organization learned that only about half of patients who had an abnormal stool-based test completed a colonoscopy within a year, demonstrating the need for an EHR-based companion quality measure. AMGA collaborated with AARP and Optum Labs to develop detailed specifications for a companion quality measure and to test reliability, feasibility and validity using de-identified EHR data from 38 organizations. AMGA evaluated differences in performance by race and ethnicity and worked with three AMGA member organizations to confirm the value of the measure, as specified, and the feasibility of obtaining the necessary data.


Based on this work and another quality improvement initiative, AMGA Foundation launched a best practices learning collaborative focused on CRC screening and follow-up. AMGA will be working with 20 member organizations, using both the standard quality measure (reflecting initial CRC screening) and this new, EHR-based companion measure. Interest was further inspired by the finding that rates of timely follow-up after a positive stool-based test are 12 percent lower for Black or African American and Asian patients, offering participating organizations an opportunity for tangible progress on health equity. This carefully specified and well-studied new measure will enable tracking of impact in the new CRC screening collaborative.