Health Economics and Financing

bottle of pills on money

RAND Health conducts a variety of studies on medical costs, insurance coverage, reimbursement models, and consumer health expenses—including proposed health care reforms. Our research identifies opportunities to control spending while improving health care access, efficiency, and outcomes.

From the RAND Blog

  • Is the ACA Keeping a Lid on Growth in Healthcare Spending?

    Apr 3, 2014

    Some point to the healthcare spending slowdown as an early success of the Affordable Care Act. Others warn that it's merely a hangover from the recession, and that the inevitable spending rebound will be exacerbated by the ACA coverage expansions.

  • Quick Takes: The Math of Medicaid Expansion

    Oct 21, 2013

    Expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is both contentious and complicated. RAND mathematician Carter Price has been using the COMPARE model to help those making decisions understand what their choices mean for their budgets and population health.

Latest Research and Publications

  • Promise of Value-Based Purchasing in Health Care Remains to Be Demonstrated

    After a decade of experimentation with reforms that give health providers financial incentives to improve performance, relatively little is known about how to best execute such strategies or judge their success.

  • Economic Burden of Childhood Autism Spectrum Disorders

    Compared to their peers, children with autism spectrum disorders have higher annual costs for health care appointments and prescriptions ($3,000 on average) and non-health care costs ($17,000 on average), such as special education at school. Previous analyses underestimated this economic burden, particularly for school systems.

  • Will the Affordable Care Act Make Health Care More Affordable?

    For most lower-income people who obtain coverage as a result of the Affordable Care Act, health care spending will fall. But spending by some newly insured higher-income people will increase because they will be now paying insurance premiums.

Research in Progress

Last updated: August 2013