Letter from the Editor

This issue of RAND Health Quarterly includes a range of policy-relevant research on military health, global health, health economics, and health care quality. Price and Saltzman evaluated the impact of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on Arkansas and estimate that the ACA will lead to 400,000 newly insured people, $430 million in net federal payments to the state, and an increase in state gross domestic product of $550 million. While the ACA defines national policy on such issues as insurance exchange requirements, Medicaid eligibility and fees, and investments in new delivery and organization models, many key implementation decisions are made at the state level and interact with existing state Medicaid program features, demographics, and other factors. This study demonstrates the importance and relevance of state-level ACA policy analysis.

Damberg, Berry, and Schmidt evaluated the implications of including physician identifiers in California hospital discharge data. They summarize the utility of this information to stakeholders and also highlight privacy, reporting burden, and other concerns associated with the collection of physician identifiers.

Two studies cover topics in military health policy. Tanielian et al. described the characteristics and roles of military caregivers and summarized evidence linking the effect of caregiving on their well-being. Meadows et al. described how a neighborhood theory approach can be used to explore relationships between the characteristics of communities in and around military installations and quality of life outcomes. These studies illustrate the wide range of health and health care issues that impact servicemembers, their families, and their communities.

This issue also includes an evaluation of a simulation-based cataract surgery training approach, a projection of the health care and economic burden of hepatitis C in the United Kingdom, and a comparative study of regulatory cultures and research governance.

Andrew W. Mulcahy, Ph.D., M.P.P., Editor

RAND Health Quarterly is produced by the RAND Corporation. ISSN 2162-8254.