CMS Measures Management System Blueprint
Now Available: CMS Measures Management System Blueprint Version 17.0!
Version 17.0 contains updated versions of
- the streamlined version of the Blueprint (PDF), which outlines the basic steps needed to complete the Measure Lifecycle,
- supplemental materials that provide more detail about the Measure Lifecycle and/or specific types of measures,
- templates designed to guide measure developers through measure development processes and format the resulting products,
- a Blueprint QuickStart Guide (PDF) that provides a start-to-finish overview of measure development, implementation, and maintenance steps and processes, and
- Quality Measures: How They Are Developed, Used, & Maintained (PDF) (“Quality Measurement 101”), a brief, easy-to-read introduction to quality measures and the measure lifecycle designed for people who are not measure developers.
Highlights of the changes reflected in Version 17.0 include
- A new supplemental material addressing the topic of population health measures
- Substantially revised Business Case Form and Instructions and related content
- Additional information on special considerations for Medicaid-focused measures
- Significantly revised reliability content
- Information about the new CMS Measures Under Consideration Entry/Review Information Tool (CMS MERIT)
The Blueprint team welcomes comments and suggestions at any time through the MMS Support mailbox.
About the Blueprint
CMS created the “Blueprint for the CMS Measures Management System,” commonly referred to as the Blueprint, to document the core set of business processes and decision-making criteria for measure development, implementation, and maintenance. While required for CMS developers, the Blueprint is a helpful resource for anyone developing measures and especially those who want to submit measures for CMS’s consideration. The processes outlined in the document ensure measure developers meet the evaluation criteria CMS and the current consensus-based entity (National Quality Forum) require.
For users new to measure development or the Blueprint, we recommend reviewing the FAQs and Quality Measures: How They Are Developed, Used, & Maintained (PDF) (“Quality Measurement 101”). If you are more familiar with the process, jump to the Blueprint QuickStart (PDF). The QuickStart provides checklists and reminders to keep measure developers on track as they work through the Measure Lifecyle.
Download Blueprint documents using these links:
Download supplemental materials and templates using the links below.
- View Supplemental Materials
- Codes, Code Systems, and Value Sets (PDF)
- Composite Measures for Accountability Programs (PDF)
- Cost and Resource Use Measures (PDF)
- Electronic Clinical Quality Measures (eCQM) Specification, Testing, Standards, Tools, and Community (PDF)
- Environmental Scans for Quality Measurement (PDF)
- Measure Calculations (PDF)
- Measure Harmonization, Respecification, and Adoption (PDF)
- Measure Maintenance Reviews (PDF)
- Multiple Chronic Conditions Measures (PDF)
- National Quality Forum (NQF) Endorsement and Maintenance (PDF)
- Patient-Reported Outcome Measures (PDF)
- Person and Family Engagement in Quality Measurement (PDF)
- Population Health Measures (PDF)
- Risk Adjustment in Quality Measurement (PDF)
- Technical Expert Panels (TEPs) (PDF)
- View Templates
Notes / Changes from Previously Published Version Business Case Form & Instructions (DOCX) 9/10/2021 Substantially revised instructions Call for Measures Web Posting Template (DOCX) 9/10/2021 Revised general instructions Information Gathering Report Template (DOCX) 9/10/2021 Revised general instructions Measure Evaluation Report Template & Instructions (DOCX) 9/10/2021 Revised general instructions Measure Information Form (MIF) & Instructions (DOCX) 9/10/2021 Revised general instructions Measure Justification Form (MJF) & Instructions (DOCX) 9/10/2021 Revised general instructions Public Comment Call Web Posting Template (DOCX) 9/10/2021 Revised general instructions Public Comment Summary Report Template (DOCX) 9/10/2021 Revised general instructions Public Comment Summary Web Posting Template (DOCX) 9/10/2021 Revised general instructions TEP Call for TEP Web Posting (DOCX) 9/10/2021 Revised general instructions TEP Charter Template (DOCX) 9/10/2021 Revised general instructions TEP Membership List Template (DOCX) 9/10/2021 Revised general instructions Technical Expert Panel Membership List Web Posting Template (DOCX) 9/10/2021
Revised general instructions
Note: Use of this template is optional for CMS-contracted measure developers.
TEP Nomination Form (DOCX) 9/10/2021
Revised general instructions
Note: CMS Contractors may post 508-compliant Word versions of the TEP Nomination Form with their Call for TEP posting (it is no longer necessary to convert this form to PDF prior to posting).
TEP Summary Web Posting Template (DOCX) 9/10/2021 Revised general instructions
- Why should I use the Blueprint?
Measure developers and others involved with quality measurement should use the Blueprint to
- Understand CMS’s quality planning priorities
- Learn about the basics of quality measures, including different types of measures, data sources, and other information
- Understand the Measure Lifecycle
- Gather ideas about how to engage stakeholders, including managing a Technical Expert Panel (TEP) or soliciting public comments
- Learn best practices for measure development
- How do I use the Blueprint?
You can read the Blueprint, and its corresponding supplemental materials, from beginning to end to give a comprehensive overview of the Measure Lifecycle or it can be used as reference when specific topics arise.
CMS designed the Blueprint primarily as an electronic document with navigation bookmarks and internal and external hyperlinks. The Blueprint provides information about CMS priorities and the basics of each stage of the Measure Lifecycle and contains hyperlinks to supplemental materials with additional detailed information. The supplemental materials, in turn, refer back to specific sections of the Blueprint.
Any text formatted in blue represents an external hyperlink and has an external link icon. Internal links have dotted blue underlines. We provide links to resources throughout the Blueprint. Key terms have hover overs with their glossary entries.
- I’m a first-time user, where should I start?
New users of the Blueprint should start with Chapters 1, 2, and 3. These three chapters provide high-level overviews of CMS’s goals and priorities and the different stakeholders’ roles in measure development. Those new to quality and quality measurement can also start by reading Quality Measurement 101 (PDF), which gives a high-level overview of the importance and uses of quality measurement in the context of CMS programs.