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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 (2018 Round 21), Cohort 21 was surveyed and Cohort 19 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

  • 2018 Cohort 21 Baseline Reports Available. The reports were made available to participating Medicare Advantage Organizations (MAOs) via the Health Plan Management System (HPMS) on May 31, 2019. The contract-level summary data file distributed with each baseline MAO report contains three HOS HEDISĀ® Effectiveness of Care 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. If assistance is required regarding HPMS access, MAOs may contact CMS at hpms_access@cms.hhs.gov. A Sample Baseline Report with actual national HOS data may be found in the Overview section of the Resources page.

  • 2018 HOS-Modified (HOS-M) Reports Available. The HOS-M Reports were made available to participating Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) organizations via the HPMS on May 31, 2019. Plans may contact their CMS Quality Point of Contact to obtain access to the HOS-M reports. A Sample PACE Report with actual national HOS-M data may be found in the Overview section of the Resources page.
  • 2019 HOS Round 22 Survey Administration is ongoing. The survey fielding for HOS 2019 Cohort 22 Baseline began in April followed by the 2019 Cohort 20 Follow Up in May.

  • Winter 2018-2019 Semi-annual HOS Newsletter is Available. This edition of the HOS Newsletter was released in February 2019. You may contact the HOS Information and Technical Support email (hos@HCQIS.org) to sign up for the email distribution.

  • HEDISĀ® 2019, Volume 6: Specifications for the Medicare Health Outcomes Survey (HOS) is Available. Additional information is available in the Methodology section of the Resources page.

  • Office of Minority Health (OMH) Research Report and Data Highlight Available. The "Understanding the Health Needs of Hispanic Medicare Beneficiaries" report characterizes the distribution of chronic diseases, general health status, sleep measures, and prevalence of obesity among diverse Hispanic sub-groups. These include Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, multi-ethnic Hispanics and other Hispanics. The report and the corresponding data tables (in an Excel file format) can be downloaded from the Research Reports portal of the CMS OMH website. In addition, there is a corresponding Data Highlight providing an overview of the same topic also available on the CMS OMH website.

  • 2019 Survey Administration Memos for HOS Survey Vendors and Medicare Advantage Organizations (MAOs). The memos containing the requirements for the 2019 HOS administration year have been posted under the Survey Administration section.

  • 2019 Medicare Health Outcomes Survey (HOS) Conditionally Approved Survey Vendors List is Available. Final approval of the survey vendors was contingent upon participation in the HOS 2019 Survey Vendor Training (to be conducted in February 2019).

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 06/17/2019

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