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Oct 27 -- The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) invites comment to OMB by November 27, 2023 regarding the proposed Medicare Health Outcomes Survey Field Test.

CMS is required to collect and report quality and performance of Medicare health plans under provisions of the Social Security Act. Specifically, Section 1851(d) of the Act (Providing Information to Promote Informed Choice) requires CMS to collect data for MA plan comparison, including data on enrollee satisfaction and health outcomes, and report this information and other plan quality and performance indicators to Medicare beneficiaries prior to the annual enrollment period. The HOS meets the requirement for collecting and publicly reporting quality and other performance indicators, as HOS survey measures are incorporated into the Medicare Part C Star Ratings that are published each fall for consumers on the Medicare website.

This request is to conduct a field test with the goal of evaluating the measurement properties of new survey items, and the effects of new content and a web-based mode on response patterns and measure scores as compared to existing HOS survey items and protocols. Within each of the proposed field test protocol arms, there will be two versions of the questionnaire (see Attachments A and B) that will be identical except for slight differences in selected items where empirical data are needed to ascertain which of the two versions produces the best results (see Attachment C). The two versions of the questionnaire will test alternatives for selected new survey content that will potentially enhance and refine existing measures, allow CMS to develop new and methodologically simpler cross-sectional and longitudinal measures, expand on CMS's measurement of physical functioning and mental health, and add to CMS's efforts to measure and address health equity.

The data collected in this field test will be used by CMS to inform decisions on possible changes to HOS content and survey administration procedures. The items in the questionnaire reflect current health priorities and would provide CMS with data to study new longitudinal PROMs, cross-sectional measures, and enhancements to existing HOS measures for MA plans to use as a focus of their quality improvement efforts. Potential new measures derived from new HOS items will go through the Measures Under Consideration (MUC) process and rule-making before they are added to Star Ratings.

CMS HOS: https://www.cms.gov/data-research/research/health-outcomes-survey
CMS submission to OMB: https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAViewICR?ref_nbr=202310-0938-006 Click on IC List for data collection instruments, View Supporting Statement for technical documentation. Submit comments through this site.
FRN: https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2023-23741 #2
For AEA members wishing to submit comments, "A Primer on How to Respond to Calls for Comment on Federal Data Collections" is available at https://www.aeaweb.org/content/file?id=5806

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