Health Economics

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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

  • News Release

    Details and Context of New Payment Models Are Critical to Efforts of Physician Practices to Improve Care

    Physician practices are engaging in new health care payment models intended to improve quality and reduce costs, but are finding that they need help with managing increasing amounts of data and figuring out how to respond to the diversity of programs and quality metrics from different payers.

    Mar 19, 2015

  • Doctor writing at his desk next to keyboard and stethoscope

    Report

    Physicians Need Support and Guidance to Further Advance Delivery Reforms

    Physician practices are engaging in new health care payment models intended to improve quality and reduce costs, but are finding that they need help with managing increasing amounts of data and figuring out how to respond to the diversity of programs and quality metrics from different payers.

    Mar 19, 2015

  • A doctor listens to a patient's breathing

    Journal Article

    U. S. Hospitals Experienced Substantial Productivity Growth During 2002-11

    Productivity growth in US health care could be better than is sometimes believed, and may help alleviate concerns about Medicare payment policy under the Affordable Care Act.

    Mar 10, 2015

  • Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)

    Essay

    The New Drug Wars

    Modern medicine is built on the promise that antibiotics will clear away the bacteria that made everything from skin infections to surgery potentially lethal just a few generations ago. But drug-resistant strains of disease have spread in recent years.

    Mar 3, 2015

  • A road cuts through a forest on the island of Senja, north of the Arctic Circle in Norway

    Commentary

    Health Benefits of Addressing Climate Change

    Opponents of action to mitigate climate change often suggest that regulation could have a negative impact on jobs, but stakeholders need to consider benefits, too. For instance, lower emissions could produce savings in the form of lower health care costs, reductions in premature death, and greater well-being.

    Feb 4, 2015

  • A young woman cares for her elderly grandmother

    Research Brief

    The Cost of Elderly Caregiving

    Family members and friends spend 30 billion hours each year providing care for their elderly loved ones. These caregivers are giving up valuable time, either from their jobs or from other potentially productive activities. What is the annual price tag of this informal care—and how might it be offset?

    Jan 20, 2015

  • News Release

    Who Pays for Health Care in Vermont Under the Current System

    If Vermont considers further health care reform proposals, legislators might look for opportunities to better align the degree of subsidization available for individuals with similar incomes, regardless of whether they are enrolled on the exchange or in employer coverage.

    Jan 14, 2015

  • A stethoscope rests on a credit card.

    Report

    A Look at Health Care Spending in Vermont As It Weighs Reform

    Most Vermont residents receive more in health benefits than they pay for directly or through taxes. Those with lower incomes pay less for health care than those with higher-incomes but there is much variation, something legislators may wish to review as they consider implementing universal health coverage.

    Jan 8, 2015

  • News Release

    Consumers Who Buy Subsidized Health Plans May Face Higher Costs When More Choices Are Available

    For people who buy subsidized coverage through marketplaces created under the ACA, those who live in areas with more plan offerings may have to pay a higher premium to receive the same deductible when compared to consumers in regions with fewer options.

    Jan 6, 2015

  • Journal Article

    Organisational Interventions to Reduce Length of Stay in Hospital: A Rapid Evidence Assessment

    This study sought to (i) describe the nature of interventions that have been used to reduce length of stay in acute care hospitals; (ii) identify the factors that are known to influence length of stay; and (iii) assess the impact of interventions on patient outcomes, service outcomes and costs.

    Dec 18, 2014

  • Syringe and vaccine medicine

    Report

    The Economic Costs of Antimicrobial Resistance

    More and more bacterial and viral infections are resistant to antimicrobial drugs. But no new classes of antibiotics have entered the market for more than 25 years. Researchers estimate that failing to address this issue will mean a lower world population in 2050 than expected and at least $2 trillion in lost global GDP.

    Dec 10, 2014

  • Environmental pollution

    Journal Article

    A Wedge-Based Approach to Estimating Health Co-Benefits of Climate Change Mitigation Activities in the United States

    This study presents a new framework for estimating the change in health outcomes resulting from implementation of specific carbon dioxide (CO2) reduction activities, allowing comparison of different sectors and options for climate mitigation activities.

    Nov 21, 2014

  • Doctor and patient shaking hands

    Commentary

    A Case for Exchange-Based, Long-Term Health Insurance Policies

    Multi-year health plans have the potential to finally align the interests of health plan enrollees and insurers by reaping long-term benefits of patient health management.

    Nov 10, 2014

  • News Release

    Biosimilar Medications Could Create Billions in Health Care Savings

    Introducing competing “biosimilar” versions of complex biologic drugs used to treat illnesses such as cancer and rheumatoid arthritis could cut spending on biologics in the United States by $44 billion over the next decade.

    Nov 3, 2014

  • Blue and green pills and tablets

    Report

    Biosimilar Medications Could Create Billions in Health Care Savings

    Introducing competing “biosimilar” versions of complex biologic drugs used to treat illnesses such as cancer and rheumatoid arthritis could cut spending on biologics in the United States by $44 billion over the next decade.

    Nov 3, 2014

  • News Release

    Cost of Informal Caregiving for U.S. Elderly Is $522 Billion Annually

    The price tag for informal caregiving of elderly people by friends and relatives in the U.S. comes to $522 billion a year. Replacing that care with unskilled paid care at minimum wage would cost $221 billion, while replacing it with skilled nursing care would cost $642 billion annually.

    Oct 27, 2014

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

    Periodical

    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

    Commentary

    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

    Project

    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