Holding Hands in the Hospital Bethesda Research Scientist How people use prescription medicine determinesif it is a source of the healing or a source of abuse Rooftop view from NORC's Washington DC office
Vaccinations and Immunizations Meeting in NORC's Bethesda office 
A doctor's office waiting room

Health

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

Food Assistance During and After the Great Recession in Metropolitan Detroit. Food Assistance During and After the Great Recession in Metropolitan Detroit will use unique panel survey data from a representative sample of working-age adults in the Detroit Metropolitan Area to explore three research questions related to the receipt of SNAP among low-income households: How have low-income families in the Detroit Metropolitan Area bundled SNAP with other types of public assistance, help from charitable nonprofits, and informal social support in the wake of the Great Recession? When controlling for economic shocks and respondent characteristics, to what extent is access to local food assistance resources related to receipt of SNAP assistance? How are receipt of SNAP assistance and economic shocks related to household food shopping behaviors, food security, and financial hardship? More

MyPlate. MyPlate is a USDA program designed to encourage healthy eating. NORC conducted qualitative research for the Network for a Healthy California to test two advertising campaigns promoting the MyPlate program and targeted to low-income minority groups. More

National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project (NSHAP). The National Social Life, Health and Aging Project (NSHAP) is a population-based study of health and social factors on a national scale, aiming to understand the well-being of older, community-dwelling Americans. More

The Economic Burden of Vision Loss and Eye Disorders in the United States. This project was funded by Prevent Blindness America (PBA) with the goal of creating the first comprehensive estimate of the economic burden of vision loss and eye disorders in the United States.  Our report, “Cost of Vision: The Economic Burden of Vision Loss and Eye Disorders in the United States” serves to update the 2007 PBA-sponsored report “The Economic Impact of Eye Problems”.  The 2007 report has stood as the primary estimate of the economic impact of eye and vision problems since its publication, but was subject to a number of limitations that led to an underestimate of total costs, including the omission of persons younger than age 40, the lack of inclusion of a number of cost categories, and the restriction of medical costs to only four eye diseases.   More

Workforce Network Development Program. The evaluation of the Workforce Network Development Program will gather information on the activities grantees are engaging in to establish programs to encourage health professions students and residents to practice in rural communities.  More

See all Health projects

Headlines

Press Release NORC at the University of Chicago Selected by Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to Carry Out the Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey (MCBS) More
Posted: 2.14.2014 10:44AM
News Fox Business: NORC's Matt Sedensky explains how older Americans need to work longer to save for retirement More
Posted: 10.21.2013 11:49AM
News The Associated Press, at ABCNews.com: NORC's Journalism Fellow Matt Sedensky looks at AP-NORC poll information and how Americans are working at older ages More
Posted: 10.14.2013 9:59AM
News The Associated Press at NPR: First Lady Michelle Obama's anti-obesity campaign covered, featuring AP-NORC findings More
Posted: 2.28.2013 10:25AM
News The Huffington Post: Asking if Beyoncè should be selling soft drinks at the Super Bowl with the AP-NORC obesity study More
Posted: 2.4.2013 4:08PM