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Types of Measures

Different organizations categorize measures using a variety of schemes, including measurement domain, Meaningful Measures health care priority, data source, or CMS consensus-based entity submission types. Legislation, consensus, or other methodology may dictate measure categorization types and names and the types and names can and do change over time. As such, complete alignment in categories and names would be difficult, if not impossible, to attain. The table provides the primary types of measures with Blueprint content definitions.

For information about special measures, see the Resources. The focus of most of these resources is on a particular area of measurement, e.g., Cost and Resource Use Measures. Others have a different focus. For example, electronic clinical quality measures (eCQMs), a subset of digital quality measures (dQMs), are the source of the data for the quality measures. eCQMs and dQMs can be any measure type.

Measure Type* Definitions

Measure TypeDefinition
CompositeA composite measure is a measure that contains two or more individual measures, resulting in a single measure and a single score. 
Cost / Resource UseA cost/resource use measure is a measure of health services counts (in terms of units or dollars) applied to a population or event (including diagnoses, procedures, or encounters). A resource use measure counts the frequency of use of defined health system resources. Some may further apply a dollar amount (e.g., allowable charges, paid amounts, or standardized prices) to each unit of resource use. 
EfficiencyAn efficiency measure is the cost of care (inputs to the health system in the form of expenditures and other resources) associated with a specified level of health outcome.
Intermediate OutcomeAn intermediate outcome measure is a measure that assesses the change produced by a health care intervention that leads to a long-term outcome. 
OutcomeAn outcome measure is a measure that focuses on the health status of a patient (or change in health status) resulting from health care—desirable or adverse. 
Patient-Reported Outcome-Based Performance Measure (PRO-PM)A patient-reported outcome-based performance measure (PRO-PM) is a performance measure that is based on patient-reported outcome measure (PROM) data aggregated for an accountable health care entity. The data are collected directly from the patient using the PROM tool, which can be an instrument, scale, or single-item measure. 
Population HealthA population health quality measure is a broadly applicable indicator that reflects the quality of a group’s overall health and well-being. Topics include access to care, clinical outcomes, coordination of care and community services, health behaviors, preventive care and screening, and utilization of health services.
ProcessA process measure is a measure that focuses on steps that should be followed to provide good care. There should be a scientific basis for believing that the process, when executed well, will increase the probability of achieving a desired outcome. 
StructureA structure measure, also known as a structural measure, is a measure that assesses features of a health care organization or clinician relevant to its capacity to provide good health care. 

* Measures may encompass more than one measure type. For example, a composite measure may include a process measure and an outcome measure.

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