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Search VSAC

The VSAC Web browser provides a way to query and filter the Value Set Repository. This is useful for an overall view of the value sets and their metadata. The VSAC Web browser application also allows you to download value sets in XML format, Excel spreadsheets, or Text. Use the filters and your search terms to narrow your results.

  1. Query: All value sets in the VSAC repository are automatically displayed when you first visit the Search Value Sets page. You can enter search terms directly into the Query box to refine your results. For example, you can type the term 'heart' and click the Search button to retrieve all value sets that contain the word 'heart' in a value set name, code descriptor, or in a term that is algorithmically mapped to the word 'heart.' You can also search by a specific object identifier (OID) for a specific value set.

    VSAC Query
  2. Refine Search: To refine your search, select to search by a particular program; e.g., CMS eCQM, HL7 C-CDA, or CMS Hybrid. Also, to refine your search further, select a particular steward(s), and/or a code system(s).

    Refine Search

  3. Search Results and Value Set Details Display: The Search Results table initially displays all value sets contained within the VSAC repository. When you enter query terms, or codes, and then apply your desired filters, the Search Results table displays the value sets retrieved by your search. The top right corner of the Search Result table displays the total number of retrieved value sets. Use the check boxes to select individual value sets of interest. To sort your Matched Value Sets results click on any column heading: name, type, code system, steward, or OID. You can also use the filter boxes in the first row to filter your results by specific terms.

    Sort Search Results

  4. Downloading Search Results:

  • Download: To download value sets in Excel, XML, or Text format, along with all terms and codes, use the check boxes to select your value sets and click on the Download link above or below the checkbox column in the Search Results - Matched Value Sets table. From the Download pop-up box, select your desired Download Type (Excel, XML, or Text) and select the OK button. This download function employs the RetrieveMultipleValueSets API method.

    Download Search Results

  • Export Search Results: When you select the Export Search Results (Excel) link, located in the top right corner of the Matched Value Sets table, it downloads your search results (your list of retrieved value sets). The downloaded Excel spreadsheet contains two worksheet tabs, one with the information about your query terms and filters (Search Criteria), and the other worksheet tab contains a list of your retrieved value sets (Value Sets). This Excel spreadsheet does not contain any terms or codes for the listed value sets.

    Export Search Results

  • Export Value Set Results: When you select the Export Value Set Results (Excel) link it downloads a single fully expanded value set, including the member codes of the value set. To do this:
    1. Click on a value set OID to view the value set codes in the Value Set Details tab.
    2. Click the Export Value Set Results (Excel) link to download an Excel spreadsheet.
    3. The downloaded Excel spreadsheet contains two worksheet tabs, one with the metadata about your selected value set (Value Set Info), and the other worksheet tab contains a list of the value set's codes (Code List).

      Export Value Set Results

To display value set details for one specific value set within your Search Results table, click on the hyperlinked OID for that value set. The Value Set Details view may display the following panels:

  • Value Set Information:
    • Expansion Versions: The expansion versions are snapshots in time of the value set definition computed by VSAC using the latest available code system version. The expansion is a code list calculation from the value set definitions created by authors in the VSAC Authoring Tool using an author-designated expansion profile of specified code system versions. The default expansion profile is the set of the most recent code systems in VSAC. For CMS electronic Clinical Quality Measures (eCQMs), select a particular release; e.g., eCQM Update 2017-05-05.
      • Latest: The default Value Set Details view shows only the latest automatic update by VSAC. When new code system versions are published by their source terminologies, VSAC will represent only the latest value set code membership (expansion) of each published value set using these updated code system versions. VSAC will no longer store previous automatic expansions for published value sets. VSAC will continue to provide all value set updates that are published directly by authors.


        PLEASE NOTE: During initial VSAC development, VSAC anticipated a need for precomputed and stored automatic value set updates (also known as the VSAC Auto-Expansion feature) based on new code system versions. Because we have received user feedback that these automatic value set updates are confusing and not useful, we removed this "Automatic Updates by VSAC" feature.

      • Program Releases: Value set authors and stewards periodically revise their value sets manually and approve them for publication by a particular program. For example, the CMS updates the CMS Clinical Quality Measure value sets annually.

        Program Releases

    • Export Value Set Results (Excel): Click this link to download an Excel spreadsheet of the member codes of the Expanded Code List for your selected value set.

      Export Value Set Results

    • Metadata: Displays information for your selected value set, including the value set Name, OID, Type, Definition Version, Code System, and Steward.


    • Measure: Displays the Clinical Quality Measures (CQMs) supported by this value set. This table contains the following columns:
      • CMS eMeasure ID -- Hyperlinked to human readable Health Quality Measure Format (HQMF) file for the measure.
      • NQF Number -- National Quality Forum (NQF) Number.
      • Category -- Quality Data Model Category (QDM) assigned by the measure developer during measure development in the CMS Measure Authoring Tool (MAT).
      • CMS Quality Reporting Programs -- CMS CQM Annual Update release name.


    • Grouping Members: If your selected value set is a grouping of one or more member value sets, this table lists each member value set.

      Grouping Members

    • Member Of: If your selected value set is a member of a grouping value set, this table lists each grouping value set of which your selected value set is a member.

      Member Of

  • Value Set Members:
    • Expanded Code List: Displays a table of the individual Codes, Descriptors, Code Systems, Code System Versions, and Code System OIDs. Use the text boxes at the top of each column to filter for specific codes you may need to see. Click on the column headings to sort your results. Click the Export Value Set Results (Excel) link at the top of the Value Set Details to download this expanded code list that includes the value set member codes.

      Expanded Code List

Click within a row to highlight the row. Click the View link at the top or bottom of the Matched Value Sets table to view a very brief summary for your highlighted value set. For example:

View Each Row