The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has developed a standardized system for developing and maintaining the quality measures used in its various accountability initiatives and programs. CMS uses quality measures in its quality improvement, public reporting, and pay-for-reporting programs for specific healthcare providers. The Measures Management System (MMS) provides a core set of business processes and decision criteria for measure developers (or contractors) to use when developing, implementing, and maintaining quality measures for CMS. The standardized processes ensure that the resulting measures form a coherent, transparent system for evaluating quality of care delivered to CMS beneficiaries. Federal government and private stakeholders have opportunities to actively engage in MMS efforts through information sessions, call for measures, expert panels, and public comment periods.
CMS has published a Blueprint that documents best practices for these business processes and decision criteria when developing quality measures.
Section 1—Measure Development Concepts—covers concepts that apply throughout the measure lifecycle and provides background and a more in-depth description of those concepts.
Section 2—Measure Lifecycle—describes the procedural steps necessary to develop and maintain a measure.
Section 3—eMeasure Lifecycle—is constructed parallel to Section 2 because it also describes measure development and maintenance procedures, but material in this section is specific to eMeasures.
Section 4—Tools, Appendices, and Forms—contains all of the tools, appendices, and forms referenced in the Blueprint. It also contains a glossary and a list of acronyms used in the Blueprint.
CMS also has an accompanying overview of the quality measure development lifecycle and an archived introductory webinar available.