Addressing the Health Needs of an Aging America: New Opportunities for Evidence-Based Policy Solutions

Principal Investigator(s)

Sally Morton, PhD and William Dunn, PhD

The U.S. population is rapidly aging.  And its health care needs are changing. To locate immediate opportunities for evidence-based policy to address these changing needs, this study systematically maps the full landscape of research evidence and policy recommendations. In an unprecedented effort to map evidence to health policies, a multidisciplinary team of researchers conducted a two-phase study to identify opportunities for policymakers seeking to improve the cost and quality of healthcare for the aging. Results of a broad literature search of medical research evidence were matched and compared to policy recommendations from multiple, cross-cutting healthcare stakeholder groups. From an initial scan of over four hundred thousand literature citations and over 493 health stakeholder organizations, researchers conducted a scoping study and policy scan to identify unique stakeholder policy recommendations and studies related to the health of the aging population. An expert panel used these results to organize the information into 10 usable policy categories, which were further divided for easy reference into 75 subtopic areas. The results provide a comprehensive and unbiased view of the best-available evidence and policy activity around healthcare for older adults. The study intends to inform future policymaking in this critical area by providing an inventory of areas in which actionable, evidence-based policy is possible.

To read the results, click here.

An executive summary of the report can be found here.