Medicare Health Outcomes Survey
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 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 current HOS administration
(2014 Round 17), Cohort 17 is surveyed and Cohort 15 is resurveyed
using HOS 2.5. For data collection years 1998-2006, the MAO sample size was one
thousand. Effective 2007, the MAO sample size was increased to twelve hundred.
provides updates on the latest HOS program developments.
reviews the history of the Medicare HOS program, provides a table of the HOS survey administration timeline for the data collection and report
dissemination, and provides a glossary of terms related to the HOS.
- Program Timeline provides a chronology of survey
activities for each annual round of HOS data collection from sampling through data
- Survey Instrument provides downloadable versions
of the questionnaire from each year of the HOS and reviews the key components of
- Survey Results provides general status information about
the HOS cohorts, including response rates, and discusses HOS performance measurement sample distribution
- Data Dissemination provides information on
the HOS reporting process and HOS contact information for Quality Improvement Organization
(QIO) and MAO data users, and provides access to sample reports containing national
- HOS-Modified Overview reviews the Medicare HOS-Modified
(HOS-M) program, which administers a modified HOS survey to members of Program of
All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) Organizations.
- HOS and the Star Ratings discusses the HOS functional
health measures and HEDIS® Effectiveness of Care measures that are included in the annual CMS Medicare Star
Ratings and includes a timeline table about the HOS cohorts utilized for the annual ratings.
- Real World Uses provides information and downloadable
files on how HOS findings are used to support Medicare operations and translate
research into practice, and provides self-paced training webinars about the HOS.
- Publications provides an overview of Medicare HOS
research, a comprehensive list of HOS publications, and links to HOS-related
- Research Data Files contains information on accessing
Medicare HOS data, and includes downloadable Medicare HOS public use data files
(PUFs) available for research purposes.
- Data User's Guides contains downloadable HOS Data
User's Guides which detail the QIO, MAO, and PUF data specifications, instructions,
and information on how to use these data.
- Program Partners provides information on the
organizations involved in the HOS program, including links to their respective websites.
- E-Newsletters provides information about HOS products,
services and timelines; program updates; and availability of new self-paced training programs.
- FAQs provides answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs)
about the HOS program.
- Contact Us provides pertinent contact information for
the HOS program.