Measure Applications Partnership 


MAP is a multistakeholder partnership that guides the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on the selection of performance measures for federal health programs. Congress recognized in 2010 the benefit of an approach that encourages consensus building among diverse private- and public-sector stakeholders. Importantly, it provides a coordinated look across federal programs at performance measures being considered.


What does MAP do?

Since 2011, CMS has called upon MAP to recommend measures most appropriate for public reporting, performance-based payment, and other uses. One of MAP’s key initiatives is to convene stakeholders for an intensive annual review of the quality measures being considered by CMS for almost 20 federal health programs. More recently, MAP has provided input to CMS on assessing the quality of care for the nearly 10 million Americans enrolled in both Medicare and Medicaid due to very low income and complex healthcare needs. Another recent initiative is recommending core measures for assessing the quality of care for adults in Medicaid and ensuring that the measure set evolve over time. In 2014, MAP began work on a core set of measures for children enrolled in Medicaid. CMS is guided by the recommendations from all of these projects as it finalizes measures for programs, which helps to improve care quality for the more than 100 million Americans covered by these federal health programs.

In convening MAP, the National Quality Forum (NQF) brings together representatives of consumers, businesses and purchasers, laborers, health plans, clinicians and providers, communities and states, and suppliers. MAP’s careful balance of these stakeholder interests ensures that the federal government will receive varied and thoughtful input on performance measure selection. As of this year, MAP involves approximately 120 healthcare leaders and experts representing nearly 70 private-sector organizations, as well as liaisons from five federal agencies.

MAP’s work fosters the use of a more uniform set of measures in federal programs and across the public and private sectors. This uniformity helps providers better identify key areas in which to improve quality; reduces wasteful data collection for hospitals, physicians, and nurses; and helps to inform patients and payers about the use of and need for quality measures.

MAP Successes

MAP has accomplished a variety of projects, ranging from guidance on measures for use in Medicare and Medicaid programs to more focused activities on strategic topics and specific populations, including:

  • Pre-rulemaking input – MAP provides input on performance measures being considered for federal programs, and its feedback informs the rulemaking process that finalizes measures for inclusion in federal programs. It completed its ninth pre-rulemaking cycle in 2019-2020, which culminated topic-specific workgroup reports (Hospital, Clinician, PAC/LTC) examining measures for 19 different federal programs.

  • Core Set for Adults in Medicaid – MAP began providing input on the core set of measures for adults enrolled in Medicaid, beginning in 2014. MAP examined state experiences in implementing this set and previously made recommendations to strengthen the measure set going forward. Through its Medicaid Adult Workgroup, MAP recommended measures that would enhance the core set of health care quality measures for adults enrolled in Medicaid.

  • Core Set for Children in Medicaid and CHIP – Beginning in 2014, MAP expanded its role to provide regular input on a core set of measures for children enrolled in Medicaid. Through its Child Medicaid Workgroup, MAP made recommendations to strengthen the Child Core Set, guided by MAP’s Measure Selection Criteria, decision algorithm, and feedback from states.

  • Families of Measures – Families of measures provide a tool that stakeholders can use to identify the most relevant available measures for particular measurement needs; to promote uniformity by highlighting important measurement categories; and to apply to other measurement initiatives. With its 2014 report, MAP has now produced 10 families that assess all 6 priorities within the National Quality Strategy.

  • Dual Eligible Beneficiaries – To improve health outcomes for the vulnerable population of Americans enrolled in both Medicare and Medicaid MAP produced guidance on quality measurement by updating the family of measures for dual eligible beneficiaries. MAP has also highlighted promising measurement activities for this patient population and considered the field’s progress in filling high-priority measurement gaps.

  • Health Insurance Exchanges – MAP has provided recommendations to CMS on measures to use in the initial Quality Rating System for the Health Insurance Marketplaces to enable consumer choice and support regulatory oversight. Starting in 2016, exchanges will be required to publicly report measures, although some exchanges are voluntarily doing so already.

Learn more about MAP's work and access all of its published reports.

MAP's Structure and Membership

MAP’s overall strategy is set by the Coordinating Committee. Working directly under the Coordinating Committee, MAP workgroups advise the Coordinating Committee on measures needed for specific care settings, care providers, and patient populations. Time-limited task forces consider specific topics, such as families of measures, and provide further information to the Coordinating Committee and workgroups. The MAP Coordinating Committee provides final input to CMS in reports and other deliverables.

MAP Structure(2)   

MAP’s processes are transparent. All MAP meetings are open to the public, and reports and other materials are made available on NQF’s website. Public comments are sought on MAP recommendations, and MAP reviews and considers every comment received.

Questions about MAP? Please contact