Health Economics


Financing the efficient delivery of medical services while reducing costs for consumers as well as health care providers is among the most challenging domestic policy problems many countries face. RAND addresses health economics issues through innovative, high-profile research in an effort to improve the efficiency of health care organizations, reduce costs for providers and consumers, and improve financing in health care markets.

Explore Health Economics

  • Blog

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

    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.

    Apr 3, 2014

  • Journal Article

    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.

    Jan 1, 2014

  • Blog

    A Global Focus on Dementia

    The Group of 8 industrial nations is convening a special session to seek an international approach to dementia research at a time the disease is being recognized as a 21st century global health crisis of historic proportions.

    Dec 11, 2013

  • Research Brief

    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.

    Dec 11, 2013

  • Solution

    Shaping State Implementation of the Affordable Care Act

    As implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) unfolds, state governments face numerous decisions. With significant amounts of funding and residents' health at stake, states need strong evidence to inform their policy.

    Dec 10, 2013

  • Solution

    Planning for the Rising Costs of Dementia

    Dementia is a chronic disease of aging that reduces cognitive function, leaving people unable to tend to even their most basic, everyday needs. A RAND-led research team developed the most precise estimate to date of the economic burden of the disease.

    Nov 20, 2013

  • News Release

    Affordable Care Act Will Reduce Out-of-Pocket Medical Spending for Many Americans

    The Affordable Care Act will have a varied impact on health spending by individuals and families, depending primarily on their income and whether they would have been uninsured in 2016 without the program.

    Oct 1, 2013

  • Journal Article

    Benefits of Slowing the Aging Process

    Most medical research focuses on fighting individual disease. But delayed aging could boost life expectancy by more than two years and yield more than $7 trillion over 50 years. Greater investment in research to delay aging could be a very efficient way to prevent disease, improve public health, and extend healthy life.

    Oct 1, 2013

  • Journal Article

    Making an Economic Case for a Shift to Prevention

    Some health issues, including preterm birth, unintentional injury, child obesity and certain child mental health problems, may cost less to prevent while also improving outcomes in later life.

    Oct 1, 2013

  • Content

    Option Pricing: A Flexible Tool to Disseminate Shared Savings Contracts

    Borrowing a tool from the financial world called a "call option," researchers have developed a way to improve the potential for shared savings contracts between health care payers and providers to contain costs.

    Sep 27, 2013

  • Journal Article

    The Effect of Prospective Payment on Admission and Treatment Policy

    Provider responses to the Medicare inpatient rehabilitation facility prospective payment system were found to simultaneously reduce marginal reimbursement and increase average reimbursement.

    Sep 1, 2013

  • Research Brief

    Major Changes to Medicare Would Cut Costs, Squeeze Enrollment, Raise Spending for Seniors

    Potential policy changes, such as raising the eligibility age of Medicare from 65 to 67, would save Medicare from $400 billion to $4 trillion between 2012 and 2036 but would also reduce the number of seniors enrolled.

    Aug 26, 2013

  • Report

    Implementing a Rb-Rvs Fee Schedule for Physician Services

    An examination of the impact of implementing a resource-based relative value scale to pay for physician and other practitioner services under the California workers' compensation system finds in the aggregate across all services, allowances are projected to increase 11.9 percent.

    Aug 2, 2013

  • Journal Article

    Option Pricing: A Flexible Tool to Disseminate Shared Saving Contracts

    Healthcare costs volatility can create systematic financial losses for payers in shared savings contracts. RAND calculated the prices of financial options that payers can "sell" to providers to offset these losses, and found numerous benefits.

    Aug 1, 2013

  • Blog

    Health Care Spending: What's in Store?

    Resolving the question of whether or not the U.S. has finally gotten a handle on health care spending is vitally important, because the choices we make going forward will have profound implications for our economy, the financial wellbeing of millions of American families, and ultimately America's standing in the world.

    Jul 16, 2013

  • Testimony

    The Monetary Costs of Dementia in the United States

    How do today's costs for treating patients with Alzheimer's disease compare to those of decades past?

    Jul 12, 2013

  • Multimedia

    The Math of State Medicaid Expansion

    Carter Price, Associate Mathematician at the RAND Corporation, discusses the potential impacts to low-income populations and local fiscal interests in states that choose not to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.

    Jul 1, 2013

  • Journal Article

    Brand-name Prescription Drug Use Among Veterans Affairs and Medicare Part D Patients with Diabetes: A National Cohort Comparison

    Medicare beneficiaries with diabetes use 2 to 3 times more brand-name drugs than a comparable group within the VA, at substantial excess cost.

    Jul 1, 2013

  • Report

    Revenue, Spending Reductions Will Offset Costs of Expanding Medicaid in PA

    While the expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act will require additional spending by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, these costs will be more than offset by additional revenue or reductions in other spending in the 2014-2020 timeframe.

    Jun 24, 2013