While federal, state and, local governments deploy strategies to tackle the opioid crisis, the problem continues to proliferate. RAND researchers suggest that these strategies fail to solve the larger problem because they've largely been developed in silos. The opioid crisis is an ecosystem, and mitigating the problem will require a holistic approach.
Americans have always held differing views about policy issues. But more and more, they disagree about basic facts. This is a symptom of what RAND calls "Truth Decay," and it's doing severe damage to democracy in the United States.
U.S. schools and community organizations face a difficult battle to keep kids safe and drug-free. They need tools to help them choose programs that will work best for youth. The National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices is such a tool, but its future is uncertain.
Evidence doesn't support using electronic cigarettes to quit smoking. In fact, doing so could even lead to reduced chances of quitting. Evidence does show that other options work, such as nicotine replacement patches or gum combined with counseling strategies.
High U.S. health care costs do not yield corresponding health outcomes for its citizens. But Cuba, for less than a tenth of U.S. costs, has attained comparable outcomes on many indicators, such as life expectancy and infant mortality. Cuba prioritizes primary care and prevention and addresses social determinants of health.
Research has proven that vaccines are extremely safe and effective. The public health implications of questioning this are serious. America should take every opportunity to protect kids by vaccinating them against every vaccine-preventable disease.
Opioid overdoses were the greatest cause of accidental death in America in 2014. A panel discussion at RAND addressed the epidemic, including societal attitudes toward pain and addiction, poor understanding of the mechanics of addiction itself, economic drivers, legal responses, and treatment approaches.
The recent measles outbreak that began in Disneyland is the latest reminder that Americans have ceded ground in the fight against the potentially deadly disease. So-called 'anti-vaxxer' parents have received a lot of attention following the outbreak, but they may comprise less of the population than you think.
John Oliver's "Jeff the Diseased Lung," a cross between a warning label on cigarette packs in Australia and the Marlboro Man, has gone viral while research shows cigarettes are responsible for even more premature deaths than previously thought.
CT lung cancer screening turns out to be like many new medical technologies: It improves health but is quite expensive. Moreover, it needs implementation that targets those most likely to benefit and provides them the care they need efficiently.
From the Affordable Care Act and new advances in medical technology to the impact of the aging population, panelists at RAND's Politics Aside discussed a wide-range of topics affecting America's health care system today and into the future.
Melinda Moore, a RAND public health physician and senior researcher, hosted an 'Ask Me Anything' session on Reddit to answer questions about Ebola, including whether a U.S. travel ban would help prevent the spread of the deadly disease.
'Graphic warning labels' pair gruesome images with warnings about the dangers of smoking, covering anywhere from 30 to 80 percent of cigarette pack 'faces' (the front and back). Do they prevent people from starting to smoke or cause current smokers to quit?
CVS has officially stopped selling cigarettes and other tobacco products, a move that will cost the pharmacy chain about $2 billion in annual profits. It's difficult to say if this will affect smoking. For now, the ban is most significant for what it represents symbolically.
With kids working and playing in close contact and sharing supplies and equipment, schools can be hotbeds for infection. Each year, K-12 students miss about 60 million school days due to colds and the flu combined. But these five approaches can help reduce their chance of spreading infections and getting sick.
Last week, President Obama signed a bill to overhaul care provided by the Veterans Health Administration. This is an important step, but attention to veterans' experiences receiving care, particularly veterans in need of mental health and substance use care, should be an essential component to ongoing efforts to improve quality.
No amount of research can save those who've already perished from Ebola in West Africa, but our capacity to learn from such tragedies is a silver lining that has historically enhanced global resilience to disease. With that in mind, here are six key lessons from the outbreak.
Health coverage is a means to an end: the aim is to help more Americans use their coverage to access routine primary care and preventive services. For many of the newly insured, however, the leap between obtaining insurance and establishing a regular source of care is substantial.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) will significantly increase coverage for the publicly funded treatment of substance use disorders. But in order to maximize the benefit to patients, families, and society, it's critical to invest in the development, validation, and use of performance measures.
Many think of cardiovascular disease (CVD) primarily as a male problem. But one in three adult women has some form of CVD, which has killed more American women than men every year since 1984. Cardiovascular risk assessments can help women understand their current risk and health behaviors.
Research suggests that setting a baseline by getting an estimate of your individual cardiovascular risk can help you see more clearly what you have at stake and what you can do to improve your chances of a long and healthy life.
Lately, stories about outbreaks seem to be spreading faster than the diseases themselves. An outbreak of measles in Ohio is just part of an 18-year high of U.S. cases. Meanwhile, polio continues to circulate in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Nigeria, while spreading to other countries, like Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, and Syria.
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.
A promising strategy for helping adults with serious mental illness gain access to appropriate primary and preventive medical services is to integrate those services into a setting in which the population already receives care.
Currently, evidence for the safety, harmfulness, utility, and addictiveness of e-cigarettes is lacking. The questions that research needs to answer, however, are clear as day—particularly since business is booming.
CVS Caremark will stop selling cigarettes and other tobacco products at its CVS/pharmacy stores beginning Oct. 1. Though it stands to lose $2 billion dollars in annual revenue, CVS CEO Larry J. Merlo said that selling tobacco products is at odds with the company's mission of improving health outcomes.
Friday is National Wear Red Day, when people are asked to wear red to raise awareness about the health risks women face from heart disease. Too little attention is devoted to preventing heart disease in women and improving the quality and outcomes of their care.
If it doesn't seem that state laws as currently written can help increase the number of health care workers vaccinated against influenza, then what can? There is evidence that imposing consequences for vaccination refusal, including the requirement to wear a surgical mask, can help.
The American Medical Association officially designated obesity as a disease, hoping to help change the way doctors approach the issue with their patients, increase funding for research on effective treatments, spur insurers to cover prescription weight loss medications, and maybe even help de-stigmatize the condition.
Anti-tobacco policies that have clear scientific support will strengthen the FDA's regulatory position. While the evidence base is solid in this area, it needs to be much stronger and broader if the TCA is going to have any lasting success against the industry.
Wellness programs do in fact reduce health risks, like smoking and obesity, write Soeren Mattke and Kristin Van Busum. But resulting cost savings could not be detected, especially when compared to the costs of the programs.
When it comes to women's health, cancer gets a good deal of the attention; somehow, it hasn’t fully registered that so many of our mothers, sisters, friends and daughters are being affected by another, often silent killer, writes Chloe E. Bird.
For vaccination to become a public health priority in the U.S., stakeholders must strengthen guidance for providers, which would make it easier for physicians to both assess vaccination needs and aid communication with patients about the efficacy and safety of vaccines.
Although placement is a factor that is right in front of our noses, we should consider treating it as a hidden risk factor, like carcinogens in water, because placement influences our food choices in a way that is largely automatic and out of our conscious control, write Deborah A. Cohen and Susan H. Babey.
As the nation struggles to confront the twin challenges of rising healthcare costs and uncertain quality, we should be willing to embrace innovative practices wherever they exist, whether they are developed in private, for-profit health care systems or so-called
If consumer-directed health plans grow to account for half of all employer-sponsored insurance in the United States, health costs could drop by $57 billion annually—about 4 percent of all health care spending among the nonelderly.
If patients do not take prescribed medications, are not appropriately vaccinated, or do not obtain preventive screening tests, they may incur costs that others will need to subsidize, writes Robert Brook.
One reason that health reform proposals always seem to fail is that proponents promise too much. Reformers declare they will improve quality, lower costs and increase access — all at the same time. This mantra is repeated so often that the public tends to believe it is possible, when really it isn't, writes Dana P. Goldman.
The flu vaccine is not the only vaccine that Americans could find in short supply due to a lack of enough manufacturing facilities licensed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. In the past six years there have been U.S. shortages of more than half of the 12 recommended childhood vaccines, and there could be more.