Home Page

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

  • HEDISĀ® 2019, 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) 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.

  • 2015-2017 Cohort 18 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.

  • 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.

  • NEW 2019 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 2019 Survey Vendor Training (conducted on February 2019).

  • 2015-2017 Cohort 18 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 26, 2018. 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.

  • 2015-2017 Cohort 18 Performance Measurement DUG Available. The DUG may be downloaded from the Data Users Guides section on the Data page. The corresponding Cohort 18 data are expected to be distributed in November 2018. MAOs will be notified by HPMS memo when the data are available to be requested through the HOS Information and Technical Support email (hos@HCQIS.org).

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

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 02/15/2019

Privacy   |   Contact Us   |   FAQs   |   Glossary   |   Program Partners

This site is hosted and maintained by Health Services Advisory Group.
It is sponsored by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.