Health Issues

This page offers an easy way for policymakers to access health research and analysis that is relevant to current Congressional agendas.

Recent Findings

  • Article

    An Affordable Diarrhea Treatment Could Save Thousands of Children's Lives

    Diarrhea kills by dehydration. The discovery that salts plus glucose and water can keep patients alive has been hailed as one of the greatest medical advances of the past century. Yet health care providers from south Asia to sub-Saharan Africa don't prescribe them enough.

    May 15, 2024

  • Report

    Private Health Plans Paid Hospitals 254 Percent of What Medicare Would Pay

    In 2022, prices paid to hospitals by employers and private insurers for both inpatient and outpatient services averaged 254 percent of what Medicare would have paid for the same services. Prices varied widely among states.

    May 13, 2024

  • Commentary

    The Unseen Risks of Basement Flooding in Pittsburgh

    Recurrent basement flooding is much more than a nuisance. It's costly to clean up, and it poses significant threats to public health and safety. It's time to stop thinking about wet basements as simply a nuisance, and understand their role in some of the critical health issues facing communities.

    May 2, 2024

  • Commentary

    A Market for Donor Kidneys Is Not the Reform the U.S. Needs

    It takes hard work, but it is possible to increase the number of organ donations and benefit patients. Rather than looking to quick fixes that may not actually improve the system, the focus needs to continue to build off what we already have.

    Apr 25, 2024

  • Commentary

    Bringing New Technologies to Bear for Biosurveillance

    The recent COVID-19 pandemic and the current outbreak of avian influenza in U.S. dairy herds provide ample evidence of the problems faced in rapidly detecting and responding to infectious disease outbreaks. A biosurveillance intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance system could address these gaps.

    Apr 25, 2024

More Research on Health, Health Care, and Aging

Alerts & Newsletters

RAND periodically sends alerts and newsletters to update Congress on highlights of recent work about health and health care.

  • The Prescription Drug Landscape in the United States

    Experts at RAND explored how prescription drug prices for both brand-named drugs and generic drugs in the United States compare with those in other countries.

    May 2, 2024

  • Health Care Consolidation and Price Transparency

    The continued rise in health care costs for patients across the United States has policymakers actively considering proposals to increase competition and transparency. RAND experts are available to answer questions you may have about the potential impacts of health care consolidation.

    Aug 1, 2023

  • Tailoring Disaster and Public Health Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Recovery to the Needs of Older Adults and Disabled Americans

    RAND’s Mahshid Abir provides recommendations to help address the specific needs of these populations, including potential opportunities to modernize preparedness and response capabilities in the upcoming reauthorization of the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act (PAHPA).

    Jul 6, 2023

  • Health Care Price Transparency: Opportunities to Improve Affordability and Data Effectiveness

    How can health care price transparency data be better leveraged to address increasing health care prices and improve affordability? RAND economist Christopher M. Whaley outlines potential options to improve the effectiveness of hospital and insurer price transparency data.

    Jun 13, 2023

  • Prescription Drug Markets

    As policymakers consider proposals to address the high cost of drugs, RAND experts are available to provide objective and data-driven insights about prescription drug markets.

    May 25, 2023

  • Addressing the Opioid Crisis with an Ecosystem Approach

    The new report, America’s Opioid Ecosystem, provides insights into the extraordinary depth of the country’s opioid problems. Researchers offer nine action areas that could help decisionmakers prioritize and organize their efforts to address problems associated with opioid use.

    Mar 16, 2023

  • Considering Health Care Policy in the 118th Congress

    What are the biggest health care policy issues facing the 118th Congress? RAND experts offer up insight on a variety of topics including drug pricing, hospital prices and transparency, the COVID-19 pandemic, and more.

    Jan 12, 2023

  • Prices Paid to Hospitals by Private Health Plans

    A new RAND report shows that prices paid to hospitals during 2020 by employers and private insurers for both inpatient and outpatient services averaged 224 percent of what Medicare would have paid, with wide variation in prices among states.

    May 25, 2022

  • How Do Partisan Differences Affect ACA Marketplace Participation and Subsidy Use?

    As the 2022 Open Enrollment Period opens, a recent study examines how political affiliation may affect decisions to enroll through the Affordable Care Act Marketplaces and receive subsidies.

    Nov 1, 2021

  • International Reference Pricing Would Have Saved the U.S. $83.5 Billion in 2020

    A new study from researchers at the RAND Corporation estimated potential savings on U.S. drug spending under these conditions and found that implementing international reference pricing along the lines of H.R. 3 would have lowered U.S. spending on certain prescription drugs by 52.3 percent, or $83.5 billion, in 2020.

    Sep 13, 2021

  • Initial COVID-19 Vaccination Campaign in the United States Prevented Nearly 140,000 Deaths

    As the United States confronts an increase in COVID-19 cases and deaths fueled by the delta variant, a new study from researchers at the RAND Corporation and Indiana University provides support for policies that expand vaccine administration. The study finds that the first few months of the COVID-19 vaccination campaign prevented nearly 140,000 deaths and 3 million cases of COVID-19 nationwide.

    Aug 26, 2021

  • Impacts of Consolidation and Integration on Health Systems

    Public attention and regulatory scrutiny are increasingly focused on health care consolidation--both horizontal and vertical. A growing body of research sheds light on whether integration represents a value add to U.S. health care.

    Aug 4, 2021

  • The Future of Telehealth

    Policymakers are considering whether to continue the expanded role that telehealth is playing in our health care system during the COVID-19 pandemic, and if so, how to do this while ensuring appropriate utilization.

    Apr 22, 2021

  • RAND Research on Marijuana

    As policymakers consider legislative proposals to legalize marijuana, RAND experts can provide an objective and data-driven perspective on questions such as taxation design, health effects, and social equity.

    Apr 13, 2021

  • RAND Research on Drug Pricing

    Most Americans agree prescription drug prices are too high. As prescription drug prices continue to increase in United States, policymakers have been examining ways to address this issue.

    Apr 5, 2021

  • What Contributes to COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy in Black Communities?

    As COVID-19 vaccine distribution efforts continue, a new RAND survey reveals a high level of vaccine hesitancy and mistrust of COVID-19 vaccines among Black Americans, including among Black health care workers.

    Mar 12, 2021

  • Policy Options for Reducing Hospital Prices Paid by Private Health Plans

    Hospital spending--the largest health spending category in the United States--accounts for one-third of national health expenditures. In 2018, U.S. hospital spending totaled $1.2 trillion. A new RAND report analyzes the effects on spending of three policy options.

    Feb 18, 2021

  • Considering Veterans Policy in the 117th Congress

    What are the biggest veterans' health policy issues facing the 117th Congress? RAND experts offer up insight on a variety of topics, including mental health, quality of care, suicide prevention, and more.

    Feb 16, 2021

  • Considering Health Care Policy in the 117th Congress

    What are the biggest health care policy issues facing the 117th Congress? RAND experts offer up insight on a variety of topics, including the COVID-19 pandemic, drug pricing, health insurance markets, combatting the opioid crisis, telehealth expansion, and more.

    Feb 2, 2021

  • New Research Shows U.S. Prescription Drug Prices Exceed Other Nations

    Congress has been examining ways to combat rising prescription drug prices. According to a new report, prices for all prescription drugs in the United States were 2.56 times of those seen in 32 different Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) nations.

    Jan 28, 2021

  • U.S. Pays 8x What Other Countries Would for Insulin

    A new RAND study shows insulin prices are more than eight times higher in the United States than in other high-income Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries.

    Oct 14, 2020

  • U.S. Hospital Price Evaluation

    A new RAND study shows that prices paid for hospital care nationally during 2018 by privately insured patients average 247% of what Medicare would have paid, with wide variation in prices among states.

    Sep 18, 2020

  • RAND Resources on the Opioid Crisis

    Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. is still grappling with the opioid epidemic. According to 2019 provisional data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. had its deadliest year on record for overdose deaths, surpassing the 2017 peak.

    Sep 9, 2020

  • What We Really Need to Make Telehealth Stick

    In response to COVID-19, Congress temporarily expanded telehealth services to help make sure that people still have access to care during this public health crisis. With many of the temporary telehealth flexibilities set to expire, policymakers are looking at ways to make these changes permanent.

    Aug 20, 2020

  • In Case You Missed It: The Strategic National Stockpile and COVID-19

    COVID-19 has exposed serious weaknesses in our national preparedness for a global pandemic, including with the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS). Daniel Gerstein provides recommendations for rethinking the SNS to help prepare for future emergencies.

    Jul 8, 2020

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