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

  • Poker chips and special dice -- one with the caduceus on dice and a bag of money on the other -- on green background.


    Cut the Crapshoot: For Medical Innovation Worth the Gamble, It's Time to Close the Casino

    The financial incentives driving medical innovations encourage inventors and investors to gamble on technologies that offer potentially big payouts without substantially improving health, regardless of the effect on health spending. Here are ten ways to fix the system.

    Aug 7, 2014

  • A son, father, and grandfather fishing from a dock


    Demographics Add Urgency for Action on Dementia Long-Term Care

    Dementia takes a huge toll on those afflicted with it but also has major consequences for those who must care for them. More than 15 million Americans provide care for loved ones with dementia—tending to their daily, routine needs and ensuring their medical needs are met.

    Jul 28, 2014

  • Journal Article

    Doing Wrong to Do Right? Social Preferences and Dishonest Behavior

    Can pro-social preferences lead to dishonest or unethical behavior? Lab evidence suggests that it can. In this paper, we document some of the first field evidence of this phenomenon.

    Jul 23, 2014

  • old hands on walking stick


    Dementia Blueprint

    Annual costs of dementia exceed those of cancer and heart disease and will only continue to rise as the nation's population ages. Key policy options can help strengthen and improve long-term services and supports for those with dementia and their caregivers.

    Jun 23, 2014

  • Report

    Investigating time lags and attribution in the translation of cancer research: A case study approach

    RAND Europe and HERG were asked by UK medical research funders to investigate returns to public/charitable investment in cancer research. This report details the five case studies conducted as part of this work and observations emerging across them.

    Jun 15, 2014

  • Report

    Dementia's Mounting Toll on the U.S. Economy

    Dementia costs Americans hundreds of billions of dollars per year, and the annual cost could top half a trillion by 2040 due to the 'graying' of the U.S. population.

    May 27, 2014

  • Pennsylvania capitol building


    Infographic: How Pennsylvania May Fare Under the ACA

    This infographic presents findings from a RAND analysis of the economic and other effects of Medicaid expansion on the commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

    May 21, 2014

  • Arkansas state quarter


    Infographic: How Arkansas May Fare Under the Affordable Care Act

    This infographic presents findings from a RAND analysis of the economic and other effects of the Affordable Care Act on the state of Arkansas.

    May 21, 2014

  • smart phone and smart watch with mobile heart rate app


    How Technology Can Help Save Health Care Dollars

    Devising methods to stimulate patients' use of computers, smart phones, and other technology to become more engaged in their health care could usher in an era in which better health is just a click or tap away.

    May 6, 2014

  • Physical Therapy, Recovery, Massaging, Mobirize, Massage Therapist, Human Leg, knee, Healthcare And Medicine, Patient, Healthcare Worker, Injury, Surgery, Wound, Show, Treatment, Physiotherapist, Check UP


    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.

    Apr 28, 2014

  • Close up of pills/drugs on US dollar health care spending


    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

    The State of Innovative Emergency Medical Service Programs in the United States

    The primary objective of this study was to determine how EMS organizations that are piloting patient-centered treatment and transport protocols are approaching the challenges of implementation, reimbursement, and quality assurance.

    Jan 1, 2014

  • serious child looking up

    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

  • Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron speaks at the G8 Dementia Summit


    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

  • pills and money on American flag

    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

  • red, white, and blue pills


    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 9, 2013

  • doctor examining newborn baby


    Will the Affordable Care Act Make Health Care More Affordable?

    Out-of-pocket spending on health care will decrease for both the newly insured as well as for those changing their source of insurance. These decreases will be largest for those who would otherwise be uninsured.

    Oct 1, 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

  • premature baby in nicu

    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