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MMS Blueprint

CMS Measures Management System Blueprint (Blueprint v 14.0)

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 whether your interest is 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 whether the goal is to understand the measure lifecycle or use it as a guide to develop a measure. While CMS measure developers must 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 help ensure measures address 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 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.

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 appropriate glossary entries or the appendices.

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

Significant Changes in Version 14.0, September 2018

The MMS Blueprint Version 14.0 included these significant changes:

  • Electronic clinical quality measure (eCQM) content was revised to reflect the adoption of Clinical Quality Language (CQL)
  • Content was revised to reflect the Meaningful Measures Framework
  • Measure status categories used by CMIT (the CMS Measures Inventory Tool) were updated
  • Measure submission forms were revised to align with and cross referenced to the National Quality Forum (NQF) forms
  • An appendix was added describing the uses of JIRA in the measure development process
  • A reference list was added in the appendices

Please see the Blueprint v14.0: Appendix A– Summary of Changes to Blueprint for an overview of all changes by sections and chapters.