Special Feature: The Rising Costs of Health Care

A Decade of Health Care Cost Growth: Impact on the American Family

money stethoscope

How do soaring health care costs affect the finances of the average American family? A RAND Health study shows that the doubling of health costs between 1999 and 2009 largely wiped out an average family's real income gains. In fact, in 2009 the family had a net gain of only $95 per month. If health care costs had tracked general inflation over the decade, the family would have had nearly $5,400 more in 2009.

  • Rising Costs of Health Care

    May 24, 2011

    On May 24, 2011, the RAND Corporation presented “Rising Costs of Health Care” as part of its Issues in Focus public outreach series in Santa Monica, California. The program featured Arthur Kellermann, vice president and director of RAND Health.

  • Suicide Prevention Investment Will Save Lives and Dollars

    CalMHSA is pursuing suicide prevention strategies as a result of Proposition 63, the Mental Health Services Act. One course, ASIST, could prevent at least 140 deaths and 3,600 suicide attempts over the next 28 years. And for every dollar the state invests in it, Californians will receive an estimated $1,100 in economic benefits such as reduced spending on emergency care and increased earnings.

  • Paths to Sustainability for Innovative Delivery System Programs

    Innovative health care delivery organizations are developing programs to improve quality and reduce unnecessary use of care and costs. Despite great interest, the sustainability of these programs is uncertain: innovation is likely to occur in larger organizations that can manage financial risk.

  • Using Research to Transform the Health Care System

    Using the knowledge base developed by health services research can stimulate innovative thinking about how to make health care systems safer, more efficient, more cost effective, and more patient centered.

  • Alternative Financing Schemes May Be Needed to Pay for Expensive New Medications

    In an era of $1,000-a-pill medications, a new approach may be needed to finance an emerging breed of highly expensive pharmaceuticals and vaccines. Health care could learn from other industries, where it is common for suppliers to encourage investment through approaches such as equipment leases or supplier-financed credit.

  • Investments in Preventing Health-care Acquired Infections are Paying Off

    Health care-associated infection (HAI) rates have fallen with the development of multifaceted infection prevention programs. Evaluations of these programs reveal not only their cost-effectiveness and value, but also the potential consequences of discontinuing them.