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Rehabilitation Dataset Directory: Dataset Profile

Dataset: Medicare Health Outcomes Survey (HOS)

Basic Information
Dataset Full Name Medicare Health Outcomes Survey
Dataset Acronym HOS
Summary The Medicare HOS is a longitudinal survey of a nationally-representative sample of the beneficiaries enrolled under the Medicare Advantage plan or Medicare managed care (HMO) plan. The survey selects a random national sample of beneficiaries from each participating Medicare Advantage Organization (MAO) who are surveyed in the spring. The same cohort is re-surveyed after two years. The main objective of the HOS is to collect information on beneficiaries related to physical health and mental health in order to track and improve the quality of Medicare Advantage program. A modified version of the Medicare Health Outcomes Survey-Modified (HOS-M) is administered to vulnerable Medicare beneficiaries with the greatest risk of poor health outcomes. The main goal of the HOS-M is to assess the frailty of the population in these health plans in order to adjust reimbursement rates for this population. These beneficiaries are enrolled in the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE).
Key Terms Medicare Advantage Plan, Quality Improvement, Pay-for-Performance, Physical Health, Mental Health
Study Design Longitudinal
Data Type(s) Survey
Sponsoring Agency/Entity

Department of Health and Human Services (HHS):

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)

Health Conditions/Disability Measures
Health Condition(s)

Arthritis, Body mass index (BMI)/obesity, Cardiovascular conditions, Chronic pain, Depression, Diabetes, Osteoporosis, Pulmonary disorders, Stroke

Disability Measures Ambulatory disability, Cognitive disability, Functional limitations (ADLs and/or IADLs), Hearing disability, Mental health disability, Physical disability, Self-care disability, Visual disability, Work limitation
Measures/Outcomes of Interest
Topics Socio-demographic variables, Physical health, Mental health, Physical activity, Activities of Daily Living, Medical diagnosis, Balance/falls
Sample Population Medicare advantage plan (HMO) beneficiaries
Sample Size/Notes

Year 2013 (Baseline): 272,936

Year 2015 (Follow-up for 2013 cohort): 92,258*

* Completed surveys information from:


Unit of Observation Individual
Continent(s) North America

United States

Geographic Coverage National
Geographic Specificity NA
Special Population(s)


Data Collection
Data Collection Mode Survey
Years Collected


Data Collection Frequency Annual (follow-up after two years)
Strengths and Limitations
Strengths Longitudinal design allow researchers to determine trajectories of physical and mental health status. Dataset employs a combination strategy of data collection (administrative and survey). Adequate and appropriate data documentation available.
Limitations Data collection is limited to only those individuals enrolled under Medicare advantage plan (HMO plan) thus excluding all enrollees on Medicare fee-for-service plan.
Data Details
Primary Website http://www.hosonline.org/
Data Access http://www.hosonline.org/en/data-dissemination/research-data-files/
Data Access Requirements

Public Use Dataset

Data Use agreement, No cost:

  • Limited Data Set (LDS) files
  • Research Identifiable File (RIF)
Summary Tables/Reports http://www.hosonline.org/globalassets/hos-online/survey-results/medicare_hos_survey_status_information.pdf
Data Components

3 datasets available:

  • Public Use File (PUF)
  • Limited Data Set (LDS)
  • Research Identifiable File (RIF)
Selected Papers
Other Papers NA

HOS User Guides:


Applications/Interventions of HOS Data:


Related Repositories

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The Rehabilitation Research Cross-dataset Variable Catalog has been developed through the Center for Large Data Research & Data Sharing in Rehabilitation (CLDR). The Center for Large Data Research and Data Sharing in Rehabilitation involves a consortium of investigators from the University of Texas Medical Branch, Cornell University's Yang Tan Institute (YTI), and the University of Michigan. The CLDR is funded by NIH - National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, through the National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research, the National Institute for Neurological Disorders and Stroke, and the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering. (P2CHD065702).

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Acknowledgements: This tool was developed through the efforts of William Erickson and Arun Karpur, and web designers Jason Criss and Jeff Trondsen at Cornell University. Many thanks to graduate students Kyoung Jo Oh and Yeong Joon Yoon who developed much of the content used in this tool.

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