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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 for 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

  • 2015 Cohort 18 Baseline Reports Available. The reports were made available to participating Medicare Advantage Organizations (MAOs) via the Health Plan Management System (HPMS) on May 16, 2016. The contract-level summary data file distributed with each baseline MAO report contains two HOS HEDIS® 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 report with actual national HOS data may be found in the Overview section of the Resources page.

  • 2015 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 HPMS on May 16, 2016. 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.

  • Winter 2015-2016 Semi-annual HOS e-Newsletter Available on the HOS Website. You may contact the HOS Information and Technical Support email (hos@HCQIS.org) to sign up for the email distribution.

  • 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.

  • 2016 Medicare Health Outcomes Survey (HOS) Approved Survey Vendors List is Available. Final approval of the survey vendors was contingent upon participation in the HOS February 2016 Survey Vendor Training.

  • 2016 Survey Administration Memos for HOS Survey Vendors and Medicare Advantage Organizations (MAOs). The memos containing the requirements for the 2016 HOS administration year have been posted under the Survey Administration section.

  • Office of Minority Health (OMH) Fact Sheet and Data Brief Available. The OMH has released a fact sheet highlighting the race and ethnicity of respondents to the most recent HOS administrations. The OMH has also released a data brief highlighting the distribution of chronic diseases, Activities of Daily Living (ADLs), and HEDIS rates among Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the HOS. Both documents are also available from 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 06/17/2016

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