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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

Access to Rural Public Health Services. ​Key findings relate to community-level barriers to establishing and maintaining public health infrastructure and describe recommendations to help public health systems partners overcome barriers in order to improve the health and quality of life for rural residents. More

Assessment of Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) Integrated Behavioral Health Services.

This project fits within a larger project that provides technical assistance to community health centers and community behavioral health care providers in integrating primary health and behavioral health.   NACHC will be conducting an Assessment of Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) Integrated Behavioral Health Services, following up with those FQHCs reporting that behavioral health care services have been integrated into their routine primary care practice. More

High School and Beyond Follow-up Survey. NORC, in partnership with the University of Texas Austin, has continued the High School and Beyond (HS&B) Study. With grant funding from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and the Institute for Education Statistics, NORC conducted a follow-up study with the 1980 sophomore cohort of the HS&B sample. This project re-contacted the nationally representative HS&B sophomore sample members (N=14,825) just before most turned 50 years old.  This follow-up survey collected some current information on sample members' labor force experience, health status, family roles, and expectations for continued work and retirement.  These data will become part of a robust data source that will also include data from the 1980 base year survey and from the four follow-ups that took place between 1982 and 1992. This valuable resource will be used to study a number of issues related to the consequences for midlife health and labor force participation of adolescent and early adult circumstances and characteristics. More

Options for Structuring Disproportionate Share (DSH) Payments to Account for Uncompensated Care: Impact on Rural Hospitals. This multi-phase analysis examined whether discharge patterns for and use of post-acute care services by rural and urban hospitalized Medicare beneficiaries differ and, if they do, what the sources are of these different patterns. More

Traumatic Brain Injury Technical Assistance Center (TBI TAC). The Traumatic Brain Injury Technical Assistance Center (TBI TAC) supports the efforts of the Federal TBI Program in the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). More

See all Health projects

Headlines

News The New York Times: The Affordable Care Act, and how it may have affected Americans views on income distribution More
Posted: 4.24.2015 12:34PM
Sparks: The NORC Blog David Rein: New Hepatitis C Treatments are Cost Effective at the Individual Level: Financing is an Ongoing Challenge More
Posted: 3.16.2015 1:20PM
News Health Affairs: NORC's Jon R. Gabel, Heidi Whitmore, Jennifer L. Satorius, and Sam T. Stromberg, talk about collectively bargained health plans More
Posted: 3.12.2015 5:54PM
Sparks: The NORC Blog Jon Gabel: Collectively Bargained Health Care Plans and the Future of the Cadillac Tax More
Posted: 3.4.2015 2:43PM
News Brookings: The NLSY79 provides data on obesity More
Posted: 1.15.2015 9:48AM