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Welcome to the Medicare Health Outcomes Survey (HOS) Website

The Medicare HOS is the first patient-reported outcomes measure used in Medicare managed care. The goal of the Medicare HOS program is to gather valid and reliable clinically meaningful data that have many uses, such as targeting quality improvement activities and resources; monitoring health plan performance and rewarding top-performing health plans; helping beneficiaries make informed health care choices; and advancing the science of functional health outcomes measurement. Managed care plans with Medicare Advantage (MA) contracts must participate.

Each spring a random sample of Medicare beneficiaries is drawn and surveyed from each participating Medicare Advantage Organization (MAO) that has a minimum of 500 enrollees (i.e., a survey is administered to a different baseline cohort, or group, each year). Two years later, the baseline respondents are surveyed again (i.e., follow up measurement). Cohort 1 was surveyed in 1998 and was resurveyed in 2000. Cohort 2 was surveyed in 1999 and was resurveyed in 2001, and so on. During the most recent HOS administration (2016 Round 19), Cohort 19 was surveyed and Cohort 17 was resurveyed using HOS 3.0. For data collection years 1998-2006, the MAO sample size was one thousand. Effective 2007, the MAO sample size was increased to twelve hundred.

What's New on the Medicare HOS

  • NEW Winter 2016-2017 Semi-annual HOS Newsletter Available on the HOS Website. The Newsletter is distributed to users of HOS data each summer and winter and is posted on the HOS website. You may contact the HOS Information and Technical Support email (hos@HCQIS.org) to sign up for the email distribution.

  • HEDIS® 2017, Volume 6: Specifications for the Medicare Health Outcomes Survey (HOS) is Now Available. Additional information is available in the Methodology section of the Resources page.

  • 2017 Medicare Health Outcomes Survey (HOS) Approved Survey Vendors List is Available. Final approval of the survey vendors was contingent upon participation in the HOS 2017 Survey Vendor Training (conducted in February 2017).

  • 2017 Survey Administration Memos for HOS Survey Vendors and Medicare Advantage Organizations (MAOs). The memos containing the requirements for the 2017 HOS administration year have been posted under the Survey Administration section.

  • 2013-2015 Cohort 16 Analytic Public Use File (PUF) Available. The PUF may be downloaded from the Research Data Files section on the Data page. The Data Users Guide (DUG) may be downloaded from the Data Users Guides section on the Data page.
  • Flag Available in National Cancer Institute (NCI) SEER*Stat Software. The Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) and the Medicare Health Outcomes Survey (MHOS) data sets are a data linkage available to cancer researchers. These data sets link data on cancer patients to patient-reported outcome measures and provide researchers with the potential to investigate the health status and health-related quality of life of older adults enrolled in Medicare Advantage Organizations with and without a cancer diagnosis. There is now a flag available in NCI’s SEER*Stat statistical software that identifies SEER cancer patients who responded to the MHOS surveys, as well as the number of surveys before and after diagnosis. For more information please go to the NCI SEER-MHOS web page.

Helpful Links For information about the availability of auxiliary aids and services, please visit: http://www.medicare.gov/about-us/nondiscrimination/nondiscrimination-notice.html


This page was last modified on 04/19/2017

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