A doctor's office waiting room Rooftop view from NORC's Washington DC office
NORC conference room Vaccinations and Immunizations Informal Discussion in Bethesda Office A project team meeting
Holding Hands in the Hospital

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

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 Longitudinal Survey of Youth - 1997. The National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor, is the youth-focused component of the National Longitudinal Survey Program used to gather information on the labor market experiences of American men and women.  More

Quality Improvement Organizations' Contributions to Rural Hospital Performance. ​This qualitative study identified examples in which rural hospitals have worked successfully with QIOs to improve performance and quality. More

Togo Service Delivery Indicators (Health). The World Bank has contracted NORC to carry out data collection, produce a clean data set, deliver a country report, and create a data archive for the Service Delivery Indicator (SDI) survey of health clinics in Togo. The SDI is a set of 20 indicators designed to examine the availability of staff and resources in the health and education sectors in over a dozen African countries via in-depth surveys of clinic/school management as well as individual clinicians and teachers.  More

See all Health projects

Headlines

News Forbes: The AP-NORC Center's research found that most Americans underestimate the cost of a nursing home More
Posted: 4.22.2014 4:30PM
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