Vaccinations and Immunizations Researchers in NORC's Bethesda office
Health Care workers Holding Hands in the Hospital Hyde Park Meeting Washington Monument in spring


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:

Representative Projects

California Health Benefit Exchange. The California Health Benefit exchange is seeking to increase the number of insured Californians, improve health care quality, lower costs, and reduce health disparities through an innovative, competitive marketplace that empowers consumers to choose the health plan and providers that give them the best value. More

Commercial Health Insurance and Public Sector Health Coverage Technical Assistance. In 2011 CCIIO awarded NORC at the University of Chicago a three year contract to provide technical assistance to CCIIO.  Three subcontractors collaborate with NORC on the project – Mathematica Policy Research, Health Management Associates, and Wakely Associates. More

Consumer Outreach and Planning Including e-Health Tools and Technologies. NORC has been awarded a contract from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) to assess e-health tools and technologies.  The purpose of this task order is to identify and describe consumer perspectives on consumer e-health tools, including patient decision aids. More

Investments in Health Information Technology by Rural Hospitals. ​This project, for the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy in the Health Resources and Services Administration, was undertaken to inform discussions about the scope of IT investments by rural hospitals and the factors affecting their adoption of new information technologies.  More

National Resource Center (NRC) D1 Health IT Intellectual Property Issues. NORC was awarded a contract from the Department of Health and Human Services' (DHHS) Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). The purpose of this project is to identify and engage experts to provide input on intellectual property issues relevant to the output of AHRQ's programs, and the health IT portfolio in particular. More

See all Health projects


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