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Survey Administration

The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) administers the Health Outcomes Survey (HOS) in partnership with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Memos informing survey vendors and Medicare Advantage Organizations (MAOs) of survey administration requirements will be posted here as they are made available. Pertinent documents for the 2021 and 2022 survey administration years are included below.

  • HOS 2022 Survey Administration Plan Memo outlines the MAO survey vendor selection process, MAO reporting requirements, optional reporting, and contains a list of MAOs that are required to participate in HOS during the upcoming survey administration.
  • HOS 2022 Exclusion Memo gives specific requirements for MAO exclusion in HOS reporting and a list of MAOs that are excluded during the upcoming survey administration.
  • HOS-Modified (HOS-M) 2022 Survey Administration Memo outlines the HOS-M plan reporting requirements, optional reporting, sampling process, and list of plans that are required to administer HOS-M during the upcoming survey administration.
  • Fully Integrated Dual Eligible (FIDE) Special Needs Plan (SNP) 2022 Survey Participation Memo outlines the automated application process for MAOs and Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) plans who wish to sponsor FIDE SNPs in the upcoming HOS or HOS-M for the purpose of frailty payment considerations. It clarifies the plan reporting requirements, optional reporting protocol, and sampling process during the upcoming 2022 survey administration.
  • HOS 2021 New Survey Vendor Training Slides introduces the HOS and provides an overview of its history, HOS measures, and protocols, including specifications, decision rules, data coding and submission, and quality oversight requirements. New survey vendor training is conducted periodically for new survey vendors and returning survey vendors’ new staff.   
  • HOS 2021 Survey Vendor Update Training Slides outline the goals of the HOS program, program updates, survey vendor requirements, data coding and submission, quality oversight requirements, data management, and any changes in survey administration and project reporting. Survey vendor update training is conducted annually.

Quality Assurance Guidelines (QAGs) for Download
NCQA annually publishes the HOS Quality Assurance Guidelines and Technical Specifications (QAG) manual. The QAG details the requirements, protocols, and procedures for the HOS administration that help to standardize the data collection process across the CMS-approved HOS survey vendors.  

The HOS QAGs are available for download in PDF format below:

 

 

An Addendum to the 2020 HOS Quality Assurance Guidelines and Technical Specifications V2.4 was released in July 2020.

An Addendum to the 2019 HOS Quality Assurance Guidelines and Technical Specifications V2.3 was released in February 2019.

An Addendum to the 2018 HOS Quality Assurance Guidelines and Technical Specifications V2.2 was released in June 2018. 

Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS®) Volume 6 Manuals

HEDIS® Volume 6: Specifications for the Medicare Health Outcomes Survey is the operational manual for survey vendors on implementing HOS and HOS-M. Its contents include a review of the survey’s history and administration protocols, the survey instrument and mailing materials, and a description of how the HOS measures are calculated.

The HEDIS® Volume 6: Specifications for the Medicare Health Outcomes Survey manuals are no longer available on this website. The most recent manuals (HEDIS 2016 Volume 6 – HEDIS MY 2020 Volume 6) are available at no cost from the NCQA Store (https://store.ncqa.org/hedis-quality-measurement/hedis-specifications-for-the-medicare-health-outcomes-survey.html). Copies of older editions of HEDIS® Volume 6 may be obtained from NCQA by calling NCQA Customer Support at (888) 275-7585. 

 

This page was last modified on 03/23/2022

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