This fact sheet from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) describes the disaggregated race and ethnicity data collected available from the Medicare Health Outcomes Survey (HOS).  The HOS provides longitudinal self-assessed health status data from over 300,000 Medicare managed care respondents annually.  The HOS is the first large scale CMS survey to collect expanded measures of race, ethnicity, sex, primary language, and disability status. These measures were added to the survey beginning in April 2013 and follow the standards established by the Affordable Care Act section 4302. The inclusion of these measures permits researchers to explore differences within and between specific racial and ethnic subgroups.

For HOS Round 16 fielded in April 2013 (Cohort 16 Baseline and Cohort 14 Follow up), a total of 367,935 completed surveys were returned yielding a response rate of 49.8%. For HOS Round 17 fielded in April 2014 (Cohort 17 Baseline and Cohort 15 Follow up), a total of 358,347 completed surveys were returned yielding a response rate of 47.1%.

The HOS includes self-reports of chronic conditions and self-reports using the Veterans RAND (VR-12) patient-reported outcome measure (physical functioning, social functioning, bodily pain. general health, etc.), measures of activities of daily living (ADLs)(walking, dressing, eating, etc.), measures of instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs)(taking medications, preparing meals, managing money), and Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS) effectiveness of care measures (physical activity in older adults, fall risk management, management of urinary incontinence in older adults, osteoporosis testing in older women).

CMS encourages health disparities researchers to utilize this new data for identifying and addressing health disparities among diverse racial and ethnic populations.

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