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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 (2017 Round 20), Cohort 20 was surveyed and Cohort 18 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

  • 2014-2016 Cohort 17 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 link on the Data page.

  • 2018 Survey Administration Memos for HOS Survey Vendors and Medicare Advantage Organizations (MAOs). The memos containing the requirements for the 2018 HOS administration year have been posted under the Survey Administration section.

  • NEW 2018 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 2018 Survey Vendor Training (to be conducted in February 2018).
  • 2014-2016 Cohort 17 Performance Measurement Data Distributed. The data and accompanying DUG are available to participating MAOs for download following the CMS announcement to Health Plan Management System (HPMS) users on October 20, 2017. The data are distributed via electronic Secure File Transfer and 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 Users Guides link on the Data page.

  • Late Summer 2017 Semi-annual HOS Newsletter Available. The Late Summer edition of the HOS Newsletter was released in September 2017. You may contact the HOS Information and Technical Support email (hos@HCQIS.org) to sign up for the email distribution.

  • Office of Minority Health (OMH) Research Report Available. A new research report is available, describing the health needs of diverse groups of Asian and Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islanders among Medicare Advantage beneficiaries in the most recent HOS administrations. The report characterizes the distribution of chronic diseases, general health status, sleep measures, and prevalence of obesity among the diverse beneficiaries. The report and the corresponding data tables are in an Excel file format that can be downloaded from the Research Reports portal of the CMS OMH website. In addition, there is a Data Highlight providing an overview of the same topic, also available at the CMS OMH website. Both documents can be found on the Publications and Resources page of the HOSonline site as well.

  • 2016 Cohort 19 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 Users Guides section.

  • 2016 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 4, 2017. Participating Program of All Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) organizations 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.

  • HEDIS® 2017, Volume 6: Specifications for the Medicare Health Outcomes Survey (HOS) is Available. Additional information can be found in the Methodology section of 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 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 12/20/2017

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