Skip to Main Content
Main Content

Measures Management System


Measures Management System

Quality measures are tools that help measure or quantify healthcare processes, outcomes, patient perceptions, and organizational structure and/or systems that are associated with the ability to provide high-quality health care and/or that relate to one or more quality goals for health care. These goals include: effective, safe, efficient, patient-centered, equitable, and timely care. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) uses quality measures in its quality improvement, public reporting, and pay-for-reporting programs to improve the quality of healthcare for their beneficiaries.

In response to an ever-increasing demand for quality measures, CMS developed the Measures Management System (MMS) as a standardized system for developing and maintaining the quality measures used in its various initiatives and programs. Measure developers should follow this standardized system which includes a 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, 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.

Measures Management System (MMS) Process

The MMS consists of four primary processes/categories: Developer Support, Information Gathering, Stakeholder Engagement, and CMS Program Support. The MMS Process is designed to foster and support standardization, flexibility, and innovation.

Developer Support ensures that measure developers have access to education and information that provides guidance and best practices in developing clinical quality measures. This includes presentations, the Blueprint, and supporting materials such as in-depth articles on a topic and FAQs.

Information Gathering provides access to the CMS Inventory through CMIT, (the CMS Measures Inventory Tool) and to environmental scans that provide information on measures published in the medical literature. Under this process/category software is developed to provide supporting tools that integrate the user perspective in the design.

Stakeholder engagement conducts outreach to educate and inform anyone interested in measure development. This includes the development and presentation of webinars on related topics, the maintenance of the MMS website and creation of content, and a help desk to which questions regarding measure development can be submitted.

CMS program support focuses on managing the Measures under Consideration (MUC) process as part of pre-rulemaking as well as providing meeting facilitation and support to CMS.

Process map showing the various stages and workflows of the Measures Management System at a high level.

This image provides a visual perspective of the Measures Management System (MMS) Process described above. Central to the process is the Blueprint, which documents the core set of business processes and decision-making criteria for measure development. Updates and changes to the Blueprint are provided through presentations on measure development topics, suggestions received by the help desk, and feedback gathered during the pre-rulemaking process. Also central to MMS are the clinical quality measures used in CMS programs. CMS uses the CMS Measures Inventory Tool (CMIT) as one way to communicate to stakeholders, measures that are being developed, are currently being used in a program or were formerly part of a CMS program. Environmental scans are run on measure topics to locate the most relevant literature discussing the core concepts of a measure that might impact changes and use.

Each piece of the process is pulling information from the process or feeding information to another process so that the processes are standardized but also incorporate innovation. The goal is to provide support to measure developers, to educate and inform stakeholders and promote involvement in measure development. Information may be provided on the website, through webinars, in meetings, or in systems.

.