October 2006 RAND Health Newsletter

The RAND Health Newsletter is a monthly update that features recent research from RAND Health.

Contents of October 2006 RAND Health newsletter:

  1. RAND Health researcher elected to the Institute of Medicine

    Dr. Emmett Keeler, Senior Mathematician and RAND Health researcher, has been elected to the Institute of Medicine (IOM). Election recognizes those who have made major contributions to the advancement of the medical sciences, health care, and public health, and is considered one of the highest honors in those fields. Dr. Keeler studied the effects of alternative insurance plans on physiological health, and on the costs of episodes of treatment in the RAND Health Insurance Experiment (HIE).
  2. Effects of consumer-directed health care are emerging

    Consumer-directed health care appears to be associated with lower costs, as predicted, but the results of its effects on quality and appropriateness of care are mixed and will require further study.
  3. Citation: Buntin MB, Damberg C, Haviland A, Kapur K, Lurie N, McDevitt R, Marquis MS. Consumer-Directed Health Care: Early Evidence About Effects On Cost And Quality, Health Affairs, [Epub Oct 24 2006].

  4. Troubled Cambodian refugees likely to seek help for mental health problems

    In a survey of Cambodian refugees in California, nearly 70 percent of those with mental health disorders sought medical help for emotional or psychological problems in the previous year, contradicting the common belief that Asians are less likely to seek mental health services.
  5. Citation: Marshall GN, Berthold SM, Schell TL, Elliott MN, Chun CA, Hambarsoomians K. Rates and Correlates of Seeking Mental Health Services Among Cambodian Refugees, American Journal of Public Health, Vol. 96, No. 10, Oct 2006, pp. 1829-1835.

  6. Aiding children in long-term recovery from traumatic events

    RAND has released a toolkit that shows how to provide school-based mental health programs for students exposed to violence, natural disasters and other traumatic events. The toolkit will enable schools to help students displaced by natural disasters like Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
  7. Citation: Jaycox L, Morse L, Tanielian T, Stein B. How Schools Can Help Students Recover From Traumatic Experiences: A Tool Kit for Supporting Long-Term Recovery, RAND Corporation, TR-413-RC, 2006.

  8. Reliving history and renewing the health care reform debate

    This editorial in the Annals of Family Medicine discusses the importance of renewing the health care reform debate, particularly as the 2008 presidential elections approach. Increasing numbers of uninsured patients, skyrocketing health care costs, and poor-quality health care all have significant long term consequences for our nation's health and our economy.
  9. Citation: Derose KP, Lurie N. Reliving History and Renewing the Health Care Reform Debate, Annals of Family Medicine, Vol. 4, No. 5, Sept/Oct 2006 [Editorial], pp. 388-390.

  10. Quality of prescription drug care for U.S. adults is lacking

    This study found significant deficits in the quality of prescription drug care for U.S. adults, particularly with regards to the underuse of appropriate medications. Low performance was also found for medication monitoring and for education and documentation. Some differences in quality were associated with patients' ethnicity, but insurance status did not appear to have an effect.
  11. Citation: Shrank WH, Asch SM, Adams J, Setodji C, Kerr EA, Keesey J, Malik S, McGlynn EA. The Quality of Pharmacologic Care for Adults in the United States, Medical Care, Vol. 44, No. 10, Oct 2006, pp. 936-945.

  12. Lessons learned from health care reform effort in Massachusetts

    Several lessons can be learned from Massachusetts' effort to reform its health care system to offer insurance coverage for nearly all of its residents: bipartisan cooperation is possible, a variety of policy options are needed, and the initial rates of uninsurance and degree of regulation in the insurance market are important considerations.
  13. Citation: McGlynn EA, Wasserman J. Massachusetts Health Reform: Beauty is in the Eye of The Beholder, Health Affairs [Web Exclusive], Sept 14, 2006, pp. w447-w449.

  14. Influenza outbreaks in nursing facilities is influenced by staff and resident immunizations

    Facilities having high percentages of staff and resident immunizations are less likely to have an influenza outbreak than counterpart facilities with lower immunization percentages. However, once an outbreak occurs, vaccination does not seem to reduce the negative effects of influenza.
  15. Citation: Shugarman LR, Hales C, Setodji CM, Bardenheier B, Lynn J. The Influence of Staff and Resident Immunization Rates on Influenza-like Illness Outbreaks in Nursing Homes, Journal of the American Medical Directors Association, [Epub Sept 20, 2006].

  16. October RAND Health Congressional Newsletter

    This month's newsletter features a study examining how realized access to care affects the health-related quality of life for California's SCHIP children and another examining the importance of access to primary care for vulnerable children over that of insurance.

  17. Recent research highlights and fact sheets from RAND Health

    Improving Access to Needed Health Care Improves Low-Income Children's Quality of Life, RB-9210

    Triple Jeopardy for Vulnerable Children: Greater Health Needs, Less Access, Poorer Primary Care, RB-9215


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Mary Vaiana, Communications Director of RAND Health, can be reached at Mary_Vaiana@rand.org.