Welcome to Bethesda Hyde Park Lobby A doctor's office waiting room Open work areas encourage collaboration
Hyde Park Office Chat Stethescope. Holding Hands in the Hospital


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

Evaluation of the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) Beta Test. With funding from the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB), NORC conducted an evaluation of the beta test of the national voluntary public health accreditation program. More

Evaluation Study Design for the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program. The Administration for Community Living (ACL) contracted with NORC to develop an evaluation study design to better understand and assess the effectiveness of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program (LTCOP). NORC was tasked with building the evidence base on LTCOPs in order to develop recommendations for a rigorous and comprehensive study design that investigates program efficiency and program effectiveness at multiple levels, including the resident/family, facility, local/state/program, and federal levels. The effort was led by NORC with extensive input from the ACL and a Technical Advisory Group (TAG) that was created to guide and inform the overall research objectives and design of the project. Key tasks involved the development of a family of logic models and  a set of overarching research questions as well as the identification of data collection tools and sources. More

Financing Rural Public Health Activities in Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.

NORC Walsh Center for Rural Health Analysis and the Center for Rural Health Practice at the University of Pittsburgh (Bradford, PA) investigated how federal and state funds for chronic disease prevention are applied at the local level. More

HIV Open Data Project Evaluation. The HIV Open Data Project is a multiphase endeavor funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office of HIV/AIDS and Infectious Disease Policy (OHAIDP) that seeks to address several known challenges associated with monitoring HHS-funded HIV prevention, treatment, and care services, including the lack of consistency among key indicators, an inability to summarize progress across HHS-funded programs, and a lack of interoperability among systems for reporting programmatic and fiscal data. This project is intended to inform planning activities in support of the HIV Open Data Project by evaluating the feasibility of data streamlining and harmonization strategies across HHS-funded HIV prevention, treatment, and care services. 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

See all Health projects


News The Associated Press: The AP-NORC studied the long-term care planning of Californians, 40 and older More
Posted: 7.24.2015 10:59AM
News Health Affairs: Recently released AP-NORC Center survey results show how Americans might misperceive long-term care More
Posted: 7.17.2015 4:02PM
News WTOP: Senior Fellow Jon Gabel discusses his research on SHOP marketplaces More
Posted: 5.7.2015 4:56PM
Sparks: The NORC Blog Jon Gabel: Why Shop on the SHOP? Premiums Are Lower on SHOPs, but Enrollment is Low More
Posted: 5.4.2015 5:02PM
News Health Affairs: NORC Experts Jon R. Gabel, Sam T. Stromberg, Matthew Green, Heidi Whitmore, and others write about Small Business Health Option Program Marketplaces. More
Posted: 5.4.2015 2:57PM