Good health is critical to the productivity and quality of life of individuals and their local communities,
as well as the greater stability and economy of the United States. A significant share of our private and public spending is devoted to prevention and treatment of disease, and we now face a difficult irony: advances in treatment and technology mean longer lives, but that in turn results in high health care costs over longer periods—costs which are already rising annually.
NORC explores healthcare costs and questions of policy efficacy from the perspective of the U.S. healthcare system as a whole, and in context of individual prevention and lifestyle choices. Our work addresses environmental health hazards, treatment access and delivery—particularly for vulnerable populations—and the promise of electronic health records and other emerging technologies to reduce costs while improving knowledge sharing. Our work gives voice to diverse populations ranging from rural communities, tribal groups, the elderly, and low-income children, to adult white-collar employees with employer-sponsored insurance.
Health is one of the oldest research areas of NORC, dating back to the 1940s with studies on public knowledge of cancer and care and some the field’s early and complex mental health studies. In subsequent years, NORC has led landmark studies such as the National Social Life, Health and Aging Project, a national, longitudinal study of the health of older Americans. NORC is also involved in several components of the National Children’s Study, the largest and most comprehensive long-term study of children’s health and development in the U.S., tracking the health of 100,000 children from before birth through age 21. NORC also led data collection for the National Immunization Survey—one of the largest phone surveys ever conducted.
NORC draws on this rich history, its data collection and analysis capabilities (including biomarkers), and the expertise of dedicated teams in healthcare, public health, substance abuse and mental health to lay the foundation for an understanding of U.S. healthcare policy and its influence on health over time. Our experts are particularly well skilled in managing the rapid change of health care laws and technology.
Specific areas of expertise include: