Roybal Center for Health Policy Simulation

Moving health simulation findings into programs, practices, and policies


For more than a decade, the Roybal Center for Health Policy Simulation has been developing economic models to answer salient policy questions surrounding the elderly in the United States. The Center is one of 10 established by the National Institute on Aging to move promising social and behavioral research findings out of the laboratory and into programs, practices, and policies that will improve the lives of older people and the capacity of society to adapt to societal aging.

The Center’s centerpiece effort is the Future Elderly Model (FEM), an economic-demographic microsimulation led by faculty at the University of Southern California, with collaborators from Columbia University, Harvard University, Stanford University, RAND Corporation, University of Michigan, and University of Pennsylvania. The FEM is used to explore a variety of policy questions and has produced over two dozen peer-reviewed publications, including clusters of research highlighted in special issues of Health Affairs. FEM findings have been relied on by several government agencies, the White House and Congress as well as by private organizations interested in aging policy.

In 2014, the Center has been renewed by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for five years. For the current renewal, the Center will continue its translational efforts to elevate aging policy discussions in two areas of emphasis: finding policies to mitigate the social consequences of health disparities; and assessing international lessons for U.S. aging policy.

The Roybal Center is housed within the Leonard D. Schaeffer Center for Health Policy & Economics at the University of Southern California. The mission of the Schaeffer Center is to measurably improve value in health through evidence-based policy solutions, research and educational excellence, and private and public sector engagement. With its extraordinary breadth and depth of expertise, the Schaeffer Center will have a vital impact on the transformation of healthcare.