Health

Newsletter

August 2009

The nation's most trusted source of objective health policy research

Special Feature

40 years of informing the Health care debate
RAND Health: Analyzing the core issues in health care reform

For forty years, RAND analysts have been providing objective research on many of the topics now at the heart of the health reform debate.

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Recent Research

One "canary" patient safety indicator is a good indicator of overall hospital patient safety

The patient safety measure "selected infections due to medical care" could be used to illustrate general trends in safety outcomes across hospitals and over time.

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The average European now lives about 1.5 years longer than the average American

The effects of obesity and smoking are probably the reason. Reducing the gap could save the U.S. more than $1.1 trillion in long-run medical expenditures.

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Patients tend to bypass rural hospitals

Because patients have a propensity to bypass rural and small urban hospitals, increasing the number of services and technologies these hospitals offer would have only a small effect on patients' decisions to use them.

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Read moreMore neighborhood influences on health research

Antiretroviral therapy helps HIV patients regain the ability to work, but other support is needed

ART therapy can restore physical health and functioning and the ability to work, often lost when HIV symptoms appear. But in areas of high unemployment such as Uganda, other economic resources—microcredit loans, for example—are needed.

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Coverage under Medicare Part D is comparable to coverage under non-Part D plans

Annual out-of-pocket spending in the 10 largest Part D plans was comparable to that of other private and public drug benefits; concerns remain about the gap in Part D coverage, which more than 3 million enrollees reached in 2007.

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Not everyone wants an H1N1 vaccination

As of early June 2009, only about half of U.S. adults say they intend to get an H1N1 vaccination this fall.

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Providers disagree about whether and when to treat hepatitis C among patients with HIV

Some providers delay treating hepatitis C, hoping for better treatment options in the future; others think all patients should receive treatment as soon as possible. The patient needs to make the ultimate decision.

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Read moreMore HIV, STDs, and sexual behavior research

Surveying patient satisfaction in an American Indian population

The CAHPS survey, the most widely used survey of patient experience in the United States, can be successfully adapted for use by the Choctaw Nation Health Services.

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News Releases

Options for controlling health care spending in Massachusetts are examined

A RAND report prepared the Massachusetts Department of Health and Human Services evaluates 21 options for controlling health care costs across five broad approaches. Changing the way health care services are paid for was the most promising approach.

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Retail medical clinics may be viable option for growing numbers of Americans

Retail medical clinics can provide care at lower cost, similar quality as other medical settings. Additionally, new types of partnerships between existing providers and retail clinics have developed.

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Medicare prescription benefit program has exceeded expectations

The program created to provide Medicare recipients with prescription drug benefits exceeded expectations during its first two years, extending pharmacy coverage to most seniors while reducing their overall spending on drugs.

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Certain health reform policy options would significantly reduce number of uninsured Americans

A mandate requiring individuals to obtain health insurance would increase the number of Americans with coverage by 9 million to 34 million, while a mandate requiring employers to offer insurance would boost the figure by 1.8 million to 3.4 million.

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Announcements

From time to time RAND Health likes to highlight special honors that our staff have received in acknowledgment of their outstanding contributions to their fields.

Beth McGlynn among most influential innovators in health care today

RAND Health Associate Director, Beth McGlynn, was named among the top 100 most creative and influential innovators in health care today by Healthspottr. Her national study of quality of care was the first to empirically measure the disparity between recommended care and care received in the U.S. She is also the driving force behind the COMPARE initiative.

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Featured Project

Q-DART: Innovative solutions to target gaps in health care quality & health outcomes

The Q-DART project uses innovative approaches to highlight gaps in quality of care and health outcomes in diverse populations, helping decisionmakers allocate scarce resources more wisely.

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Commentary

Stick to facts to find health care change that works

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Fix the healthcare system (and fight the recession, too)

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Co-Ops: A very tall order

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Research Highlights &
Fact Sheets

Risk Communication in the Early Stages of the H1N1 (Swine Flu): Alert How Effective Were State and Local Public Health Departments?

Research Brief Research Brief 9466

How Parental HIV Affects Children

Research Brief Research Brief 9372

Health Care Cost Growth and the Economic Performance of U.S. Industries

Research Brief Research Brief 9465


Congressional Newsletter

The August Health Congressional newsletter includes research findings noting that the rapid growth in health care costs hurts some U.S. industries and that higher prescription copays discourage the newly diagnosed chronically ill from starting drug treatment.

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Recent Documents

A National Agenda for Public Health Systems Research on Emergency Preparedness

Research Brief Full document

Public Health Preparedness and Response to Chemical and Radiological Incidents: Functions, Practices, and Areas for Future Work

Research Brief Full document

Measuring Crisis Decision Making for Public Health Emergencies

Research Brief Full document


Contact Information

Mary Vaiana
Communications Director, RAND Health
Mary_Vaiana@rand.org

Dana Torres
Administrative Assistant, RAND Health
Dana_Torres@rand.org

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