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December 2011

News and updates from the most trusted source of objective health policy research

Featured Research

More Young People Are Becoming Nurses; Trend May Help Ease Future Nursing Shortage

Nurses image

A new study finds that the number of young people becoming registered nurses has grown sharply since 2002, a trend that should ease some of the concern about a looming nursing shortage in the United States. The number of 23 to 26-year-olds who became registered nurses increased by 62 percent from 2002 to 2009, approaching numbers not seen since the mid-1980s.

Read More Topic: Medical Professionals

Changes in Body Mass Begin in Elementary and Middle School

Child on a scale

The Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Kindergarten Class monitored a nationally representative cohort of kindergarten students over 9 years, from kindergarten to 8th grade. Findings suggest that elementary school years are marked by excess BMI gains not only among children who are already overweight in kindergarten, but also among normal-weight boys and girls — and the time between 1st and 3rd grade is the critical for weight gain.

Read More Topic: Obesity and Health

Multimedia

The Cost and Quality of VA Mental Health Services

Portrait of a soldier

Americans who served in the military receive care for mental health and substance use disorders from the VA hospital system. The VA has made improving mental health care for veterans an institutional priority and asked RAND to evaluate the quality of services for these conditions.

View the Study Findings

News Releases

Curbing Health Care Costs with Bundled Payments is a Slow Process

Health care worker image

While seen as potential cost-cutting tool, bundled payments to providers have been slow to put into practice; in the three years of the PROMETHEUS pilot project, no payments have been made. Still, while implementation has been difficult, progress is being made.

Read More Topic: Health Economics and Financing

Use of Retail Medical Clinics Rises 10-Fold Over Two-Year Period

Health care worker image

Use of retail medical clinics located in pharmacies and other retail settings increased 10-fold between 2007 and 2009, according to a new RAND Corporation study. The determining factors in choosing a retail medical clinic over a physician's office were found to be age, health status, income and proximity to the clinic.

Read More Topic: Health Care Organization and Capacity

Journal Articles

Do Special Needs Plans Using a Nurse Care Manager Model Provide Quality Care?

Home care aide

Vulnerable older adults enrolled in plans that use nurse care managers receive, on average, 69% of recommended care for common geriatric conditions, compared with 53% for elders in plans without nurse care managers. The model addresses important deficits common in physician care.

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Resisting Smoking When a Best Friend Smokes: What Factors Matter?

Smoking teenager

The strong link in adolescents between having a best friend who smokes and starting or escalating smoking isn't affected by individual factors such as self-esteem, depression, school and family bonds, and access to cigarettes.

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What Determines Treatment Adherence in Patients with Hepatitis C and HIV?

Hand with pill bottle

Hepatitis C treatment efficacy among HIV patients is limited by poor treatment adherence. Good mental health may be an indicator of readiness to adhere to treatment for this population, which leads to improved health outcomes.

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