Skip to Main Content
Main Content

MMS Blueprint

CMS Measures Management System Blueprint (Blueprint v 14.1)

Link to 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. The Blueprint is a helpful resource for those interested in developing measures or in understanding the measure development process.


  • To understand CMS’ quality planning priorities
  • To understand the measure lifecycle
  • To learn about testing measures and key considerations in the measure lifecycle
  • To gather ideas about how to engage stakeholders
  • To learn how to form and manage a Technical Expert Panel (TEP) to support measure development
  • To learn about the different types of measures
  • To learn about how to get public input for measure development


Anyone can use the Blueprint. While CMS measure developers are required to use it, it is also a great resource for non-CMS contracted measure developers who want to submit measures for consideration by CMS. The processes outlined in the Blueprint help ensure measures meet the evaluation criteria used by CMS and the National Quality Forum (NQF) including: the importance to measure and report on the topic, scientific acceptability of measure properties, feasibility, usability and use, and harmonization.


The Blueprint is designed primarily as an electronic document with navigation bookmarks and internal and external hyperlinks. Any text formatted in blue represents an internal or external hyperlink. Resources and required forms (as appropriate) are referenced throughout the Blueprint and these and key terms are linked to their glossary entries or the appendices.

The Blueprint is divided into six sections:

Section 1 - Introduction— presents an overview of the guiding principles of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) quality measure development and background information on the Measures Management System (MMS).

Section 2 - The Measure Lifecycle—describes the procedural steps necessary to develop and maintain a measure.

Section 3 - In-Depth Topics—provides detailed information on important measure management topics. The topics range from CMS priorities planning to the details of risk adjustment.

Section 4 - Forms and Templates —contains all the forms and templates referenced in the Blueprint.

Section 5 - Glossary and Acronyms—contains a glossary and a list of acronyms used in the Blueprint.

Section 6 - Appendices—contains all the appendices referenced in the Blueprint.

New users of the Blueprint are encouraged to start with Sections 1 and 2. These two sections provide high-level overviews of CMS’s role in measure development and the different phases of the measure lifecycle.

For additional information, you can download the CMS MMS Webinar Blueprint 101 - Introduction to CMS Measures Management presentation found on the CMS MMS Resource page.


The Blueprint Version 14.1, updated March 2019, includes these significant changes:

  • The deliverables and submission requirements were updated to align with the 2018 MIDS IDIQ throughout the document. These changes occurred in Section 2 Chapters 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 and Section 3 Chapters 8, 19, 29 and 30.
  • There were minor changes to several forms and templates.
  • Added a link and information about the CQL Style Guide.

Please see the Blueprint v1410: Appendix A– Summary of Changes to Blueprint for an overview of all changes by sections and chapters.