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Since its inception in 1998, the Medicare Health Outcomes Survey (HOS) program has successfully gathered valid, reliable, and clinically meaningful data which are used in a variety of "real world" settings, including:
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) calculates a performance assessment ranking for Medicare Advantage Organizations (MAOs) based on the HOS results, other survey results (e.g., CAHPS®), and additional process measures. CMS uses this information to monitor and reward desired health plan performance. In addition, CMS uses HOS data to calculate a frailty adjustor to set payment rates for Fully Integrated Dual Eligible Special Needs Plans (FIDE SNPs). The analysis of HOS data helps CMS to prioritize program areas for further investigation.
Please visit the HOS Resources page for information on available manuals, peer-reviewed articles, and technical reports that have been developed using HOS data.
An MAO can use the HOS to review its performance and identify clinical areas for special focus. HOS results can be used to monitor, assess, and promote quality improvement in the MA program. Materials and webinars have been developed to assist MAOs with their quality improvement efforts.
MAO Resources for Best Practices and the CMS Medicare Star Ratings
The following guide is a resource to help MAOs develop and apply strategies that address the HOS items used in the CMS Medicare Part C Star Ratings. The guide includes an overview of HOS, national performance results on HOS items included in the Medicare Star Ratings, best practices in promoting quality preventive health care for the elderly, and HOS resources available to MAOs. Section 1 discusses the prevalence of conditions measured by the HOS items and provides a summary of national HOS results to highlight opportunities for improvement and intervention strategies. Section 2 provides examples of interventions that some MAOs have used to promote patient-physician communication, screening services or maintenance of functional status among their members. Select the link below to access the guide.
The following literature review is a synthesis of selected articles of functional status outcomes in older adults and is designed to supplement the guide for MAOs above entitled, “Opportunities for Improving Medicare HOS Results through Practices in Quality Preventive Health Care for the Elderly.” The included outcomes target short form assessments of health that span the physical to psychological from well-established questionnaires. In addition, outcome measures include activities of daily living that capture functional limitations in Medicare Advantage recipients. The articles were selected from the vantage point of interventions that could impact on the functional status outcomes in elderly populations. The HOS includes the Veterans RAND 12-Item Health Survey (VR-12) as the core measure for the physical (PCS) and mental (MCS) summary scores. It also includes HEDIS® Effectiveness of Care Measures for Management of Urinary Incontinence in Older Adults, Physical Activity in Older Adults, Fall Risk Management and Osteoporosis Testing in Older Women. Select the link below to access the literature review.
Self-Paced Training Webinars
The following Windows Media Video (.MP4 and .WMV) files require windows media software to view the recorded HOS self-paced training presentations. If no WMV-supported media player has been installed on your system, a media player may be downloaded from this Windows Media Player link. The videos provide closed captioning, which is not a default setting for the Windows Media Player. To configure your Windows Media Player for closed captioning, see the instructions following the webinar listings. The webinars are accessible by clicking on the Webinar titles and are approximately 20 to 30 minutes in length.
“Using Your Medicare Health Outcomes Survey (HOS) Data” is an intermediate training session for MAOs and contains information on how HOS data may be used in quality improvement activities. The tutorial gives information on how MAOs can identify program priorities and assess the impact of interventions, and demonstrates the advantages of linking the HOS data with internal MAO data.
For a closed-captioned version, configure your media player for closed captioning (see instructions below), then click here. If your system firewalls prevent the above from functioning properly, click here to download the video files in a ZIP format to your computer and follow these instructions: after downloading, extract all three files to the same directory, then click on the playlist file (ending with .mp4) to start the video file.
“Understanding the Medicare Health Outcomes Survey (HOS) Performance Results Used in the MA Plan Ratings” is an advanced training session that describes the methodology used in calculating the Performance Measurement Results. The tutorial discusses the primary health outcomes collected from the survey, the PCS and MCS scores, and how they are utilized to describe changes in the functional status of MAO beneficiaries over a two-year period. It also discusses how the HOS Survey results are utilized in the Medicare Star Ratings.
For a closed-captioned version, configure your media player for closed captioning (see instructions below), then click here. If your system firewalls prevent the above from functioning properly, click here to download the video files to your computer and follow these instructions: after downloading, extract all three files to the same directory, then click on the playlist file (ending with .asx) to start the video file.
“Getting the Most from Your Medicare Health Outcomes Survey (HOS) Baseline Report” is an intermediate training session that illustrates how MAOs may use their baseline HOS report and builds on information from the basic introductory tutorial. The session discusses how to maximize the use of the HOS baseline report to provide information on the health of your beneficiaries and to develop chronic care improvement programs (CCIPs). The webinar is accessible by clicking on the Webinar title below.
“Introduction to the Medicare Health Outcomes Survey (HOS)” is a basic tutorial that is appropriate for MAOs that are new to the HOS or those who want to obtain an overview of the kinds of information that the HOS provides about the health of beneficiaries. In addition, the training program provides some practical guidance about how to obtain HOS reports and data.
To configure your Windows Media Player for closed captioning, see instructions below.
Medicare Advantage Quality Measurement & Performance Assessment Training Conference
On April 8-9, 2008, a two-day educational conference sponsored by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) was conducted in Baltimore, MD. The conference was designed to enhance participants' knowledge on various topics pertaining to quality measurement and performance in Medicare Advantage. The presentation slides from this conference are available in PowerPoint (.PPT) and Hypertext Markup Language (.HTM) formats. Conference audio presentations are available in Windows Media Player (.MP3) format, and written transcriptions for the audio presentations are available in Portable Document File (.PDF) format.
Medicare Advantage Quality Measurement & Performance Assessment Training Conference slides and transcripts are accessible by clicking on the PPT, HTM and PDF links below. The MP3 files require a Windows Media Player to open, which may be downloaded from this Windows Media Player link.
April 8, 2008Conference Overview – Samuel C. "Chris" Haffer, CMS; Audio/Transcript: (MP3, 3.4 MB) (PDF, 14 KB)Welcome and Introduction - Charlene Frizzera, CMS; Audio/Transcript: (MP3, 3.3 MB) (PDF, 23 KB) Morning Plenary Sessions
The following WebEx Recording Format (.WRF) files require a WebEx Player in order to view the recorded 2005 and 2006 HOS Webinar presentations. The player may be downloaded from this WebEx Player link. The WebEx (.WRF) files for each Webinar may be downloaded from the links below. In addition, there are Portable Document Format (.PDF) files of the slide presentations that are also available for download.
"Enhancing the Use of HOS Data," two web conferences about the HOS program were presented in 2006. Topics in the series included: how MAOs and QIOs can increase the utilization of the information in their HOS reports; and using the HOS data for research purposes. The seminar slides for each of the presentations are available by clicking on the PDF link. Recorded presentations of the web conferences can also be heard by clicking on the WRF link.
HOS data applications were the subject of a series of web conferences entitled "The Medicare Health Outcomes Survey: Data Driven Strategies for Quality Improvement" presented by the Medicare Advantage (Quality Improvement Organization Support Center [QIOSC]) in partnership with the Arizona and Florida Quality Improvement Organizations. Topics included identifying strategies for managing chronic conditions and disease management. The seminar slides for each of the presentations are available by clicking on the PDF link. Recorded presentations of the web conferences can be heard by clicking on the WRF link.
Medicare HOS Information Synthesis
This document reviews a number of interventions that have an effect on the overall well-being and functional status of seniors. The intent of the review is to provide direction in developing interventions that are relevant to the specific needs of Medicare beneficiaries. This document is available for download Medicare HOS Information Synthesis (PDF, 3.4 MB).
National Pilot Project on Depression
The National Pilot Project on Depression was a cooperative effort involving CMS, six QIOs, and sixteen health plans, working to help primary care providers recognize and treat depression in Medicare beneficiaries. HOS data were analyzed to establish a profile of those at risk for depression. The results of this project can be used as a model for developing risk profiles for other health conditions or outcomes captured by the HOS data. Below are links to the Final Report and User's Guide for this project.
This page was last modified on 10/14/2016