Medicare Health Outcomes Survey

What's New on the Medicare HOS

General Updates

  • 2013 Cohort 16 Baseline Reports Available. The HOS reports were made available to participating QIOs via QualityNet on May 9, 2014. The reports were made available to participating Medicare Advantage Organizations (MAOs) via the Health Plan Management System (HPMS) on May 23, 2014. New in 2014, the contract-level summary data file distributed with each baseline MAO report contains three 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. If assistance is required regarding HPMS access, MAOs may contact CMS at Sample reports with actual national HOS data may be found in the Overview portion of the Publications section.
  • 2013 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 23, 2014. 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 portion of the Publications section.
  • Medicare HOS Information and Technical Support e-mail address has changed. The new HOS correspondence e-mail address is:
  • Analysis of Key Drivers of Improving or Maintaining Medicare Health Outcomes Survey (HOS) Scores. This study used data from the HOS 2009 Cohort 12 Baseline and 2011 Cohort 12 Follow Up to describe how two-year mortality and two-year changes in the Veterans RAND 12-Item Health Survey (VR-12) items relate to key Medicare HOS measures used in the Medicare Star Ratings. The HOS measures relate to maintaining and improving health and are derived from changes in the physical component summary (PCS) and mental component summary (MCS) scores. The results from this study clarify the properties of several Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) quality measures used for the Medicare Star Ratings.
  • Identifying Elderly HOS Beneficiaries at Risk for Mortality Using the Updated 2009 VES-HOS Risk Scoring. The focus of this research was to extend and improve a previously validated Vulnerable Elders Survey-Medicare Health Outcomes Survey (VES-HOS) predictive model for identifying older adults at high risk of mortality using the HOS 2.0. In particular, an assessment was made of whether the approach is robust to the substitution of survey items. The previously validated VES-HOS model (and the approach it is based on, the original VES-13 instrument) was extended by incorporating an imputation approach that allows for the retention of a substantial proportion of the sample previously excluded because they were missing one or more items used by the algorithm. In addition, the algorithm’s performance by gender was verified; three, rather than two, risk groups were distinguished based on the risk score; and the members of vulnerable groups were characterized.
  • Winter 2013-2014 Semi-annual HOS Electronic (e)-Newsletter Available on the HOS Website. HOS e-Newsletter was released in January 2014. The e-Newsletter is distributed to users of HOS data each summer and winter and is posted on the HOS website. The e-Newsletter contains information about HOS products, services and timelines; program updates; and availability of any self-paced training programs. You may contact the HOS Information and Technical Support e-mail ( to sign up for the e-mail distribution.
  • HOS and the Star Ratings Section Available on the HOS Website. This section 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.
  • 2014 HOS Survey Administration Information Available. Information about the 2014 Survey Administration for the Medicare Health Outcomes Survey and Medicare Health Outcomes Survey-Modified, including the Medicare contracts required to participate and the survey vendor list, may be found on the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) website.

    Click here to go to NCQA's website for more information

  • Availability of Additional Data Sets for the National Cancer Institute (NCI) SEER-MHOS Linked Data.
    CMS is pleased to announce the availability of the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) and the Medicare Health Outcomes Survey (MHOS) linked data sets. The linked data set is a surveillance data set that links data on cancer patients to patient-reported outcome measures and provides 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. The SEER-MHOS linked data sets available now include data collected during the years of 1998-2009. The HOS data are from baseline and follow up surveys for Cohorts 1-12 collected during the same time period. For researchers who are interested in using this linked data in their investigations, please go to the following website for information:

HOS Partner Updates

  • Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)

    • overseeing 2014 Round 17 HOS data collection (Cohort 17 Baseline, Cohort 15 Follow Up, and 2014 HOS-Modified)
    • overseeing 2013 Round 16 HOS Reports (Cohort 16 Baseline, Cohort 14 Performance Measurement, and 2013 HOS-M)
    • overseeing 2012 Round 15 HOS data dissemination

  • Center for the Assessment of Pharmaceutical Practices at the Boston University School of Public Health (Formerly Health Outcomes Technology Program [HOT])

    • completed a study and submitted a paper for publication examining quality of care among the Medicare Advantage Organizations using Medicare Part D data as a proxy for quality and its association with outcomes based upon the VR-12 physical and mental health summary scores

  • Health Services Advisory Group (HSAG)

    • completed 2013 Round 16 HOS Reports (Cohort 16 Baseline and 2013 HOS-M)
    • distributing Performance Measurement data for Cohorts 1 through 13 to the participating MAOs who request their data
    • distributing 2007 through 2012 HOS-M data to the participating PACE Organizations who request their data

  • National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA)

    • fielding 2014 Round 17 HOS (2014 Cohort 17 Baseline, 2014 Cohort 15 Follow Up, and 2014 HOS-Modified) during April-July, 2014
    • HEDIS® 2014 Volume 6 Specifications for the Medicare Health Outcome Survey manual is available for purchase. Call NCQA Customer Support at 1-888-275-7585 to order.

  • RTI International, Social Policy, Health, and Economics Research Unit (RTI)

    • recently completed drawing the health plan beneficiary samples for the 2014 Cohort 17 Baseline and 2014 Cohort 15 Follow Up surveys

For additional information, visit Program Partners.

Health Services Advisory Group Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services