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New to Measures

Types of Measures

Different organizations categorize measures using a variety of schemes, including measurement domain, Meaningful Measurement healthcare 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 Type

Composite Measure A composite measure is a measure that contains two or more individual measures, resulting in a single measure and a single score. 
Cost / Resource Use Measure A 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. 
Efficiency Measure An 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 Outcome Measure An intermediate outcome measure is a measure that assesses the change produced by a healthcare intervention that leads to a long-term outcome. 
Outcome Measure An outcome measure is a measure that focuses on the health status of a patient (or change in health status) resulting from healthcare—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 healthcare entity. The data are collected directly from the patient using the PROM tool, which can be an instrument, scale, or single-item measure. 
Population Health Quality Measure A 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.
Process Measure A 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. 
Structure Measure A structure measure, also known as a structural measure, is a measure that assesses features of a healthcare organization or clinician relevant to its capacity to provide good healthcare. 

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

Last Updated: May 2022