Policy Analysis and Recommendations

NORC works across sectors to provide insight to inform policy decisions. We often help design policy and programmatic options and help clients understand these challenges, implications, opportunities and potential impact of different paths.

Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC)

NORC performs a broad range of policy analyses for the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC), a nonpartisan congressional commission. NORC’s work for MedPAC explores recent or potential changes to Medicare policy, focusing on their impact on beneficiaries and providers. Recent topics have included beneficiary access to health care services; provider perspectives on payment and delivery system reform; integration of behavioral health and primary care services; use telehealth by Medicare-certified home health agencies; and reduction of hospital readmissions for nursing home residents. NORC’s analysis, based on data collected through site visits, literature reviews, stakeholder interviews, and beneficiary focus groups, supports MedPAC’s mission to advise the U.S. Congress on policy issues affecting payments under Medicare fee-for-service and Medicare Advantage, including access to care, quality of care, and other issues affecting Medicare.

Support for the Medicaid and CHIP Access and Payment Commission

Since its inception as a Commission, NORC has supported MACPAC’s work through research and writing support, environmental scans and qualitative research on topics including payment innovation, managed care quality and federal oversight. NORC’s work has helped enhance the impact of MACPAC’s work on policymakers in Congress and the Executive Branch.

Policy analysis for health care associations.

NORC works with a range of health care associations to collect data, conduct environmental scans and produce policy analysis on forthcoming payment and delivery system topics. We also help associates assess health care products and services, access to care, market dynamics and other topics. Sponsors of our work including the American Hospital Association, the American Health Care Association, the Association of Community Affiliated Plans and others.

Policy analysis supporting the CMS Office of Minority Health.

In a five-year project with the CMS Office of Minority Health (OMH), NORC is assisting OMH in developing and implementing its strategic plan for promoting health equity within Medicare. The CMS effort focuses in six priority action areas, including the dissemination of promising approaches to reducing health disparities, improving access to care for vulnerable populations, and increasing the cultural competency of the health care work force. As part of this work, NORC has conducted policy analysis on several issues important for understanding and addressing health disparities. For example, NORC reviewed existing laws, regulations, and policies related the physical accessibility of health care facilities for persons with disabilities. We have also conducted policy analysis of proposed and existing rules and regulations related to health information technology and quality improvement initiatives.

Policy Analysis in early childhood education, elementary and secondary education, and post-secondary education.

NORC experts have conducted numerous studies designed to address various aspects of education policy for the U.S. Department of Education, the National Science Foundation (NSF), Health and Human Services, and private foundations. In recent years, NORC researchers have evaluated accountability issues related to the implementation of the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), investigated science and math assessment requirements across states for the NSF,  evaluated programs for the NSF, examined policy-related issues concerning the U.S. doctoral workforce, and assessed interventions designed to increase college matriculation and graduation rates. Our policy-related work includes all aspects of quantitative and qualitative research, from study design (including rigorous experimental designs) to statistical analyses and report writing.  The evidence we produce utilizes data collected via surveys, comprehensive literature reviews, stakeholder interviews, and administrative data sources.