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February 2010

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

Recent Research

Likely effects of requiring employers to offer health insurance

A microsimulation analysis conducted using RAND's COMPARE found that an employer mandate would increase the number of people nationally with coverage by 1.8 to 3.4 million; the newly insured would have better health, as measured by life expectancy; and it would have no effect on spending, consumer financial risk, waste, the reliability of receiving recommended care, or system capacity.

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The likely effects of a refundable tax credit on health system performance

A microsimulation analysis conducted using RAND's COMPARE found that a refundable tax credit for individuals would produce a slight gain in health as measured by life expectancy; 2.3 to 10 million people would become newly insured; and a credit would have no discernable effect on total health care spending, overall consumer financial risk, reliability of care, or health system capacity.

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Likely effects of "bundled payment" financing

A microsimulation analysis conducted using RAND's COMPARE found that bundled payment (paying for episodes of care rather than individual services) has the potential to reduce spending, consumer financial risk, and waste. Evidence is mixed regarding how these approaches would affect health; bundled payment approaches would require fundamental changes in the way that health care providers bill and are paid for services.

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The likely effects of expanding Medicaid/SCHIP nationally

A microsimulation analysis conducted using RAND's COMPARE found that expansion would substantially reduce financial risk for those newly insured and increase coverage by 6 to 26 percent and should improve the health of some groups, as measured by life expectancy. Expansion would have no discernible effect on overall health care spending but would increase government spending.

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The likely effects of an individual health insurance mandate

Using RAND's COMPARE, this microsimulation analysis found that an individual mandate implemented nationally would increase the number of people with coverage by 9 to 34 million, depending on the policy's design; it would have no effect on spending, consumer financial risk, the reliability of receiving recommended care, or system capacity.

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Is a comparative effectiveness center feasible for Massachusetts?

This analysis discusses the feasibility of several options, including a new center that synthesizes existing findings, one that supports new research, a collaboration with an existing center, or no center at all.

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Political context can influence health and longevity

Norwegian women born in 1906, the year after Norway's separation from Sweden, lived longer, healthier lives.

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Prostate cancer treatment varies by type of provider

Treatment patterns for disadvantaged men in care for prostate cancer differ depending on whether they are being treated by private or public providers.

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Improving assessment of pain in older adults

This study provides a methodological crosswalk between two response scales for measuring pain in older adults so that either can be used in practice, depending on the preference of the clinician and respondent.

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News Releases

RAND Estimates the Potential Impact of President Obama's Health Reform Proposal

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Projected Impact of Senate Health Reform Bill; Estimates of Alternative Designs

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Featured Web Site

Cost and Health Consequences of Air Pollution in California

RAND Health recently launched a web-based, interactive tool that demonstrates patterns of hospital care in combination with predicted pollution levels throughout the state of California. The accompanying analysis shows significant health and cost savings from cleaner air.

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Research Highlights &
Fact Sheets

Coverage, Spending, and Consumer Financial Risk: How Do the Recent House and Senate Health Care Bills Compare?

Research Brief Research Brief 9515

Analysis of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (H.R. 3590)

Research Brief Research Brief 9514

Studies' Estimates of PTSD Prevalence Rates for Returning Service Members Vary Widely

Research Brief Research Brief 9509

Analysis of the Affordable Health Care for America Act (H.R. 3962)

Research Brief Research Brief 9504


Congressional Newsletter

The February Health Congressional newsletter presents a study on how parental deployment may heighten problems for children, another on why reliable estimates of PTSD among service members is difficult to pin down, and findings from the RAND Teen Depression Awareness Project. The newsletter features RAND researcher Anita Chandra.

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Recent Documents

International benchmarking of health care quality: A review of the literature

Research Brief Full document

The U.S. Experience with No-Fault Automobile Insurance: A Retrospective

Research Brief Full document

The European Alcohol and Health Forum: First Monitoring Progress Report

Research Brief Full document


Contact Information

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

Dana Torres
Unit Administrator, RAND Health
Dana_Torres@rand.org

Ingrid Maples
Administrative Assistant, RAND Health
Ingrid_Maples@rand.org

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