Special Features

RAND Health's special features synthesize research on the most critical health policy issues into a quick, easy-to-read format, conveying the most important and interesting findings in a simple, streamlined fashion.



  • Adolescents With Jobs Are More Likely to Begin Smoking

    Dec 14, 2012

    Evidence is mounting that something happens when youth start working that compels them to smoke. With this trend in mind, it's worth exploring potential strategies to prevent smoking among youth who enter the workforce.

  • Four Strategies to Contain America's Growing Health Care Spending

    Nov 15, 2012

    In its second term, the Obama Administration can restrain further health care spending growth—without compromising quality—by employing four broad strategies: fostering efficient and accountable providers, engaging and empowering consumers, promoting population health, and facilitating high-value innovation.

  • Is Impulse Marketing a Public Health Risk?

    Oct 17, 2012

    Impulse marketing—like candy at a supermarket checkout line—influences our food choices in a way that is largely automatic and out of our conscious control, which affects our risk of diet-related chronic diseases.

  • Retail Clinics Play Growing Role in Health Care Marketplace

    Sep 11, 2012

    Retail health care clinics provide treatment for acute conditions like bronchitis as well as vaccinations and other preventive care. With the role of retail clinics expanding and U.S. health care entering a dynamic period of change, it is important to consider what we know about this emerging health care setting.

  • How Do Movie Characters' Motives for Smoking Affect Adolescents?

    Jul 26, 2012

    Research has uncovered links between the motives movie characters convey for smoking on the silver screen and real-world smoking risk among middle school students.

  • Supreme Court Upholds the Affordable Care Act: What the Experts Are Saying

    Jun 28, 2012

    Now that the Supreme Court has upheld key provisions of the Affordable Care Act, what lies ahead for health care in America? RAND experts sound off in the wake of this momentous decision.

  • Can the Bloomberg Regulation on Portion Size Reduce Obesity?

    Jun 18, 2012

    New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg's proposed ban on large sugary drinks shows that policymakers—as well as health experts—are concerned about the effects of food portions on obesity in America. Consumers' dietary behaviors are often irrational, particularly when it comes to portion size, making many such regulations viable.

  • Consumer-Directed Plans May Heal Spending, but What About Patients?

    May 15, 2012

    “Consumer-directed” health plans (CDHPs), with high deductibles and low monthly premiums, are thought to limit health care spending by tying costs to patients' care. Consumers switching to a CDHP appear to make significant reductions in their spending, but may also be skipping high-value preventive care.

  • How Do Anesthesia Providers Affect the Cost of Outpatient GI Procedures?

    Apr 15, 2012

    For most of the 20 million endoscopies and colonoscopies performed each year, the type of clinician who administers the sedation may have more of an impact on the procedure’s cost than on clinical care outcomes. Allowing GI procedure teams to administer anesthesia could save $1.1 billion in health spending each year.

  • How Does Food Environment Contribute to Childhood Obesity?

    Mar 15, 2012

    Youth obesity has become a major concern for local and national policymakers, and many of their efforts have looked at the food environment as an area for intervention. Two new studies indicate that the relationship between obesity and the food environment may not be so straightforward.

  • Getting More Value from HIV Funding in the Developing World

    Jan 15, 2012

    In the fight against HIV/AIDS, the countries with the highest burden of disease rely heavily on donor funding for their HIV programs. Funding from donors have flattened or even declined while demand for HIV/AIDS care continues to rise. A RAND study examined options to better leverage existing resources.

2011 & Older

  • What Are the Public Health Implications of Prisoner Reentry in California?

    Dec 1, 2011

    California, the state with the nation's largest prison population, is releasing increased numbers of inmates under its 2011 Public Safety Realignment Plan. RAND was asked to study the public health implications of returning prisoners for the communities they return to and has found both challenges and opportunities.

  • Is the VA Meeting the Mental Health Care Needs of U.S. Veterans?

    Nov 1, 2011

    Americans who served in the military receive care for mental health and substance use disorders from the VA hospital system. The VA has made improving mental health care for veterans an institutional priority and asked RAND to evaluate the quality of services for these conditions.

  • The Rising Costs of Health Care

    Oct 1, 2011

    How do soaring health care costs affect the finances of the average American family? Research shows that the doubling of health costs between 1999 and 2009 largely wiped out an average family's real income gains.

  • Influences on Adolescent Sexual Behavior

    Nov 20, 2008

    A RAND study is the first study to demonstrate a link between exposure to sexual content on television and the experience of a pregnancy before the age of 20.