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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 healthcare 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 current HOS administration (2016 Round 19), Cohort 19 is surveyed and Cohort 17 is 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 2017 Medicare Health Outcomes Survey (HOS) Conditionally Approved Survey Vendors List is Now Available. Final approval of the survey vendors is contingent upon participation in the HOS 2017 Survey Vendor Training (to be 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 User’s Guide (DUG) may be downloaded from the Data User’s Guides section on the Data page.

  • 2013-2015 Cohort 16 Performance Measurement Data Distributed. The MAO data and DUG are available to download following the CMS announcement to Health Plan Management System (HPMS) users on October 18, 2016. New in 2016, CMS is distributing the data by electronic Secure File Transfer rather than by mailing CDs as in the past. Participating MAOs may request their data by contacting the Medicare HOS Information and Technical Support email (hos@HCQIS.org). The designated data recipient will receive an email from the hosdata@hsag.com mailbox containing instructions and a link to the Secure File Manager facility. The DUG may also be downloaded from the Data User’s Guides section on the Data page.

  • 2015 Cohort 18 Baseline PUF Available. The PUF may be downloaded from the Research Data Files section on the Data page. The corresponding DUG may be downloaded from the Data User's Guides section.

  • Summer 2016 Semi-annual HOS Newsletter Available. The Summer HOS Newsletter was released in September 2016. You may contact the HOS Information and Technical Support email (hos@HCQIS.org) to sign up for the email distribution.

  • 2015 HOS-Modified (HOS-M) Data Available. The HOS-M data and DUG were made available for plans to request following the HPMS announcement on August 1, 2016. Participating plans may obtain their data by contacting the Medicare HOS Information and Technical Support email (hos@HCQIS.org). The DUG may also be downloaded from the HOS-Modified page.

  • 2013-2015 Cohort 16 Performance Measurement Reports Available. The HOS reports were made available to participating MAOs via the HPMS on August 1, 2016. The contract-level summary data file distributed with each MAO report includes results for two HOS functional health measures that are part of the Medicare Part C Star Ratings. MAOs may contact their CMS Quality Point of Contact to obtain access to the HOS reports and the summary data. MAOs may contact CMS at hpms_access@cms.hhs.gov for help with HPMS access. Sample reports with actual national HOS data are available in the Overview section of the Resources page. The MAO Performance Measurement Contract List specifies the participating MAOs. The list is also available from the Survey Results page.

  • HEDIS® 2016, Volume 6: Specifications for the Medicare Health Outcomes Survey (HOS) is Available. Additional information is available in the Methodology section under the Resources 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 12/15/2016

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