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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

  • NEW Winter 2017-2018 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.

  • HEDISĀ® 2018, 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.
  • Office of Minority Health (OMH) Data Highlight Available. The data highlight describes the racial and ethnic disparities in mental health among diverse groups of MA beneficiaries. The report identifies that relative to other races, American Indian and Alaska Native as well as Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander (NHOPI) beneficiaries generally reported worse mental health status across multiple indicators related to depression and depression symptoms, days of activities missed because of poor physical and mental health, and mental health functioning. The data highlight is available at the CMS OMH website and can also be found on the Overview and Resources pages of the HOS website.

  • 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) Approved Survey Vendors List is Now Available. Final approval of the survey vendors was contingent upon participation in the HOS 2018 Survey Vendor Training (conducted February 2018).

  • Office of Minority Health (OMH) Research Report Available. A 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.

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 04/24/2018

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