Meaningful Measures Initiative

The “Meaningful Measures” Initiative identifies high priority areas for quality measurement and improvement, with the goal of improving health outcomes for patients, their families, and measured entities (e.g., clinicians, hospitals, health plans). Its purpose is to deliver value by empowering people to make informed care decisions while also reducing burden on clinicians and hospitals.

How CMS Developed the Meaningful Measures Initiative 

CMS launched the Meaningful Measures Initiative in 2017 with the input from a wide variety of stakeholders. It draws on work done by the Health Care Payment Learning and Action Network, the National Quality Forum, the National Academy of Medicine, and other agencies. It includes perspectives from patient representatives, clinicians, measure developers, and other experts. We evaluate and refine the Meaningful Measures Initiative to ensure it reflects national health care priorities and stakeholder feedback. The Meaningful Measures Initiative is now in version 2.0.

Cross-Cutting Connections

The Meaningful Measures Initiative helps move payment for health care services toward value by focusing everyone’s efforts on the same quality areas. The Initiative helps identify measures that:

  • Address high impact measure areas that safeguard public health
  • Are patient-centered and meaningful to patients
  • Are outcome-based where possible
  • Fulfill requirements in programs' statutes
  • Minimize level of burden for providers
  • Provide significant opportunity for improvement
  • Address measure needs for population-based payment through alternative payment models
  • Align across programs and/or with other payers (Medicaid, commercial payers)

What’s next?

CMS continues to implement the Meaningful Measures Initiative and ensure alignment across programs. In 2022, we developed the Cascade of Measures, a tool that breaks down the Meaningful Measures health care priorities into Goals, Objectives, Measure Families, and examples of individual measures. The Cascade helps identify opportunities for measure alignment and priorities for future measure development by mapping existing measures to the Meaningful Measures Framework. Clinicians and other stakeholders are welcome to submit feedback on these efforts through the Contact Us page.

Featured Presentation

Download the 2022 Quality Conference Cascade of Measures poster (PPTX), featuring audio, to learn about the Cascade of Measures and how it supports Meaningful Measures 2.0.