Brief Description of the SEER-MHOS Data Resource

The SEER-MHOS data resource links two large population-based sources of data that provide detailed information about elderly persons with cancer. The data come from the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER)External Web Site Policy program of cancer registries that collect clinical, demographic and cause of death information for persons with cancer and the Medicare Health Outcomes Survey (MHOS) that provides information about the health-related quality of life (HRQOL) of Medicare Advantage Organization (MAO) enrollees.

The SEER-MHOS data resource is a resource designed to improve the researcher's understanding of the HRQOL of cancer patients and survivors enrolled in Medicare Advantage Organizations. The SEER-MHOS database is sponsored by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)External Web Site Policy.

NCI and CMS' partnership in this initiative is modeled on the SEER-Medicare linked database. For the SEER-MHOS data resource, CMS provides the MHOS data and NCI provides the SEER data. NCI manages the SEER-MHOS data resource, but both agencies work together to update and improve the database over time. Both agencies also collaborate in creating and carrying out the research plan that guides the initiative.

The linked SEER-MHOS data resource presently available includes eighteen cohorts of MHOS data (baseline and follow-up) covering the data collection years of 1998-2017. Because these files are large and complex, before beginning an analysis using SEER-MHOS data researchers are encouraged to read through the data tables and figures in the SEER-MHOS Data File section of the SEER-MHOS Web site, and the training module in the analytic support section, to gain a better understanding of the linked data. In addition, researchers are strongly encouraged to reach out for information and technical support at to help understand the intricacies of the data before making requests and undertaking any analyses.

SEER—MHOS: Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER)—Medicare Health Outcomes Survey (MHOS)
Graphic showing what is included in seer-mhos data
  • Cancer Registry Data: NCI's SEER registry data on cancer site, stage, mortality, and sociodemographic factors.
  • Medicare Health Outcomes Survey Data: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' MHOS 2-year cohorts reporting health-related quality of life, activities of daily living, and effectiveness of care.
  • Medicare Advantage Enrollment Data: Enrollment data for Medicare Advantage beneficiaries.
  • Part D Enrollment and Claims Data: Prescription drug claims for eligible enrollees.
Last Updated: 09 Dec, 2020