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In response to an ever-increasing demand for quality measures, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) developed a standardized system for developing and maintaining the quality measures used in its various accountability initiatives and programs. Known as the Measures Management System, CMS-funded measure developers (or contractors) should follow this core set of business processes and decision criteria when developing, implementing, and maintaining quality measures.

Best practices for these processes are documented in the manual, A Blueprint for the CMS Measures Management System (the Blueprint). CMS uses the standardized processes documented in the Blueprint to ensure that the resulting measures form a coherent, transparent system for evaluating quality of care delivered to its beneficiaries.

Measure Development

The following diagram summarizes the steps from the Blueprint that CMS measure contractors follow when developing measures. Complete details for each step are provided in the Blueprint.

Figure outlining the 10 steps of the measure development process.

Call for Measures

During information gathering (Step 3a), measure developers search for existing or similar measures that may be available. Developers post materials on the Call for Measures page to request that suitable candidate measures be submitted for their projects.

Technical Expert Panels

CMS uses groups of stakeholders and subject matter experts to provide technical input to measure developers (Step 3b and 4) on the development, selection and maintenance of measures. Calls for TEP member nominations, TEP rosters and TEP summaries are posted on the Technical Expert Panels page.

Public Comment

The measure development process is designed to be transparent. The public, including consumers, patients, providers, and other interested parties, are invited to provide input on measures under development (Step 7). Materials are posted on the Public Comment page so people can review measure information and comment during the development process.

Measures Management System (the Blueprint)

The most recent version of the Blueprint, forms, and change document are available here for download.