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Health Outcomes Survey: How You Can Drive Results

What is the Health Outcomes Survey (HOS)?
The HOS is a questionnaire sent to a random sample of Medicare Advantage (MA) plan members. It asks questions about their overall health and their perception of the care they receive.

Why is it important?
The HOS helps the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services review and track health plan performance. Results help determine Star ratings for MA plans.

What does it cover?
MA patients are asked questions about things like their risk of falling, urinary incontinence, monitoring of their physical activity, and other topics related to their physical and mental health.

How can you help?

  • Talk to your patients about the importance of filling out the HOS if they receive it
  • Educate yourself and your staff on the survey questions
  • Encourage your patients to take an active role in their health
  • Work with your patients to develop treatment plans and goals to get or stay healthy
  • Provide an open, welcoming environment so your patients feel comfortable talking about their health concerns with you.

Learn more about the HOS.

Use these tips to guide discussions with your patients about their health:

HOS Measure Sample HOS Questions Recommendations/Best Practices
Monitoring Physical Activity In the past 12 months, have you talked with a doctor or other health care provider about your level of exercise or physical activity?

In the past 12 months, has a doctor or other health care provider advised you to start, increase or maintain your level of exercise or physical activity?
  • Talk about the importance of physical activity and the benefits of staying active.
  • Assess your patients' current level of physical ability and develop a plan with your patients to start or increase physical activity.
  • Refer patients with limited mobility to physical therapy to learn safe and effective exercises.
  • Provide educational materials, safe exercises and resources to improve physical activity.
  • Encourage patients to find community resources to engage in physical activity and social interaction.
Improving Bladder Control In the past six months, have you experienced leaking of urine?

Have you ever talked with a doctor, nurse, or other health care provider about leaking of urine?

There are many ways to control or manage the leaking of urine, including bladder training exercises, medication and surgery. Have you ever talked with a doctor, nurse, or other health care provider about any of these approaches?
  • Ask patients if they have had any bladder control issues or urinary leakage.
  • Discuss ways to decrease the risk of bladder control issues, including pelvic floor exercises, avoiding bladder irritants and maintaining a healthy weight.
  • Discuss treatments for bladder control issues that may arise with age, such as behavioral therapy, exercises, medications, medical devices and surgery.
  • Provide educational brochures and materials as conversation starters for this sensitive subject.
Reducing Fall Risk Have you fallen in the past 12 months?

In the past 12 months, have you had a problem with balance or walking?

In the past 12 months, have you talked with your doctor or other health care provider about falling or problems with balance or walking?

Has your doctor or other health care provider done anything to help prevent falls or treat problems with balance or walking?

  • Assess patients for balance problems, recent falls, difficulty walking and other fall risks.
  • Recommend routine eye exams and hearing tests.
  • Review medications for any issues that increase fall risk.
  • Suggest exercises to improve muscle strength and balance.
  • Perform bone density screening, especially for high-risk patients.
  • Discuss home safety tips, such as removing trip hazards, installing handrails, and using non-slip mats and night lights.