Medicare Health Outcomes Survey


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 (2015 Round 18), Cohort 18 is surveyed and Cohort 16 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 provides updates on the latest HOS program developments.
  • Program Overview 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 dissemination.
  • Approved Survey Vendors provides the current list of HOS survey vendors conditionally approved by CMS.
  • Survey Instrument provides downloadable versions of the questionnaire from each year of the HOS and reviews the key components of the instrument.
  • Survey Results provides general status information about the HOS cohorts, including response rates, and discusses HOS performance measurement sample distribution and results.
  • 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 results.
  • 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 technical reports.
  • 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.
  • Helpful Links For information about the availability of auxiliary aids and services, please visit: .

This page was last modified on 4/15/2015
Health Services Advisory Group Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services