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.

  • Improving Care for Complex Patients

    Improved care coordination and management of complex patients could reduce costs while increasing quality of care. RAND researchers explored the uses of analytics and health information technology and found that, while they are being used in innovative ways, capabilities are limited, evidence of their effectiveness is lacking, and challenges are substantial.

  • Cost Savings Possible from Reducing Use of Low-Value Health Services

    The first national study to examine spending on a wide array of low-value health services among adults with commercial health insurance finds that while use of such services is modest, there is considerable potential for cost savings.

  • Prescription Drug Use Rises, Out-of-Pocket Spending Drops Among Those Newly Insured Under the ACA

    A study of nearly 7 million prescription drug users' experiences provides strong evidence that the Affordable Care Act has increased treatment rates while reducing out-of-pocket spending, particularly for those with certain chronic health conditions.

  • Developing Codes to Capture Post-Operative Care

    In response to a request from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), RAND developed a set of nonpayment codes to collect information on the number and level of post-operative visits.

  • Dementia Long-Term Care Policy Options for Family Caregivers and Medicare

    The total cost of caring for people in the United States with dementia in 2010 was estimated to be between $159 billion and $215 billion. As the nation's population ages, these costs will soar. Lawmakers could consider policy changes that support family caregivers and expand Medicaid eligibility.