ISIS, Women's Day, Army Privates: RAND Weekly Recap


RAND Weekly Recap

March 8, 2019

This week, we discuss a strategy to help reduce health care spending; how speed is affecting society; what we know about U.S. gun policy; the debate over ISIS detainees returning home; International Women's Day; and life as a U.S. Army private.

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Paying Patients to Use Lower-Price Providers Can Cut Spending

Offering people a cash reward to use lower-price medical providers can help reduce health care spending, according to a new RAND study. Researchers examined a program that pays patients $25 to $500 to use lower-price providers for certain elective procedures. Over the course of 12 months, the program saved an estimated $2.3 million, or $8 per enrollee. Savings were greatest for imaging services, such as MRIs, ultrasounds, and mammograms.

RAND's Kathryn Bouskill has examined how technology and social dynamics could shift society into hyperdrive, ushering in new security concerns.

Photo by Diane Baldwin/RAND Corporation

What the Speed of Life Means for Security and Society

New technologies are rapidly transforming the world and testing humanity's ability to adapt. By 2040, the speed of life itself could pose a security challenge, say RAND experts. For example, people making decisions in a crisis will have less time to react and more information coming at them. “We've sort of just been in this hamster wheel, and people are feeling the crunch,” says RAND's Kathryn Bouskill. “But they're not always thinking critically about when it might be better to go faster, or slower.”

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Research Could Reduce Gun Policy Disagreements

We know little about how to prevent gun violence compared with other safety and health threats. That's according to congressional testimony yesterday by RAND's Andrew Morral, who recently led one of the largest studies ever conducted on this topic. The gap is the result of a long-standing absence of a comprehensive federal program of research, he says. Investing in careful study could resolve entrenched disagreements about facts and help bring about fair and effective gun policies.

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What Is Justice for ISIS Detainees?

A debate is brewing over whether Hoda Muthana, who left for the Islamic State in 2015 and now wishes to return home, is still a U.S. citizen. According to RAND's Brian Michael Jenkins, this distracts from the larger issue of what to do about ISIS detainees. Leaving them in the desert “may sound like Biblical punishment,” he says, but it's dangerous. Repatriation and prosecution could help ensure ISIS volunteers don't scatter to other jihadist fronts.

Jill Luoto (left) and Kathryn Pitkin Derose discuss their research at RAND headquarters in Santa Monica, September 21, 2017

Photo by Diane Baldwin/RAND Corporation

Women's Day: RAND Women to Watch

In honor of International Women's Day today, we're highlighting the diversity of talent and experience among women at RAND. In both research and leadership roles, women are tackling some of the world's most complex policy questions.

Army recruits wait after receiving haircuts during basic training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, January 16, 2008

Photo by SrA Micky M. Bazaldua/U.S. Air Force

Stories from the Army's Junior Ranks

A mechanic from a military family who plans to be a career soldier. A single mom who's struggling to balance Army life and parenting. An ambitious supply specialist who believes the Army will help her succeed. New RAND research explores the lives of junior soldiers—in their own words. Their stories offer lessons for policymakers, Army leaders and recruiters, and anyone considering a career in the Army.

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