Health Care Costs

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Controlling spending while improving health care access, efficiency, and outcomes is a significant challenge—one that often dominates policy discussions. To help inform decisionmaking, RAND conducts studies that consider all aspects of health care costs, including medical costs, insurance coverage, reimbursement models, and consumer health care expenses.

Explore Health Care Costs

  • a middle aged woman checking out at a medical reception counter

    Report

    Affordable Care Act Will Reduce Out-of-Pocket Medical Spending for Many Americans

    The Affordable Care Act will have a varied impact on health spending by individuals and families, depending primarily on their income and whether they would have been uninsured in 2016 without the program.

    Oct 1, 2013

  • group meeting of medical professionals

    Journal Article

    Factors Linked to Creation of Accountable Care Organizations Identified

    Regions of the United States where doctors and hospitals are consolidated into large networks are more likely to have accountable care organizations, medical practice structures intended to improve medical care and cut costs.

    Oct 1, 2013

  • young doctor looking at x-ray

    Report

    Does It Cost More to Train Medical Residents or to Replace Them?

    If a hospital has service needs, adding a resident presents a marginal benefit. This is especially true for more-lucrative specialty and subspecialty programs, before considering the additional benefits of any Medicare revenues related to graduate medical education.

    Sep 26, 2013

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    SCOPE: A Scorecard for Osteoporosis in Europe

    The scorecard summarises key indicators of the burden of osteoporosis and its management in each of the member states of the European Union.

    Sep 23, 2013

  • physicians with critical care patient

    Commentary

    What to Do About 'Futile' Critical Care

    There are times when no amount of care, however cutting-edge it is, will save a patient. In these instances, further critical care is said to be “futile.” This type of treatment is not uncommon in intensive care units, and that raises some uncomfortable questions.

    Sep 13, 2013

  • News Release

    News Release

    No Widespread Increase in Cost of Individual Health Insurance Policies Under Affordable Care Act

    An analysis of 10 states and the United States overall predicts that there will be no widespread premium increase in the individual health insurance market under the ACA. However, the cost of policies will vary among states and will be influenced by individual factors such as a person's age and whether they smoke.

    Aug 29, 2013

  • calculator, pills, and stethoscope

    Report

    No Widespread Increase in Cost of Individual Health Insurance Policies Under Affordable Care Act

    An analysis of 10 states and the United States overall predicts that there will be no widespread premium increase in the individual health insurance market under the ACA. However, the cost of policies will vary among states and will be influenced by individual factors such as a person's age and whether they smoke.

    Aug 29, 2013

  • hands on walker

    Research Brief

    Major Changes to Medicare Would Cut Costs, Squeeze Enrollment, Raise Spending for Seniors

    Potential policy changes, such as raising the eligibility age of Medicare from 65 to 67, would save Medicare from $400 billion to $4 trillion between 2012 and 2036 but would also reduce the number of seniors enrolled.

    Aug 26, 2013

  • lightbulb and stethoscope

    Report

    CMS Innovation Center Health Care Innovation Awards

    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has funded 108 Health Care Innovation Awards through the Affordable Care Act. Award recipients are those who propose compelling new models of service delivery or payment improvements that promise to deliver better health, better health care, and lower costs through improved quality of care for Medicare, Medicaid, and Children's Health Insurance Program enrollees.

    Aug 15, 2013

  • briefcase train commute

    Infographic

    Infographic: What We Know About Workplace Wellness Programs

    This infographic presents findings from a national survey on workplace wellness programs, including typical components, incentives for participation, and levels of employee engagement.

    Jul 31, 2013

  • illustration of weighing medical costs

    Commentary

    Health Care Spending: What's in Store?

    Resolving the question of whether or not the U.S. has finally gotten a handle on health care spending is vitally important, because the choices we make going forward will have profound implications for our economy, the financial wellbeing of millions of American families, and ultimately America's standing in the world.

    Jul 16, 2013

  • elderly person's hands on walking cane

    Testimony

    The Monetary Costs of Dementia in the United States

    How do today's costs for treating patients with Alzheimer's disease compare to those of decades past?

    Jul 12, 2013

  • Health and Wellness Expo organized by Los Angeles District's Federal Women's Committee and the Wellness Center, July 19, 2011.

    Commentary

    Wellness Now, Value Later

    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.

    Jul 2, 2013

  • dog tags, american flag, stethoscope, and camouflage

    Research Brief

    Improving Coordination and Efficiency of Care for Veterans

    The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) can better use its scarce resources through improved coordination with the private sector to reduce potential redundancies. The VHA can also provide access to high-quality care and meet rapidly changing needs.

    Jul 2, 2013

  • Report

    Report

    Coordination May Improve VA Efficiency, Reduce Health Care Spending

    To improve health care spending and efficiency, the Department of Veterans Affairs should reduce dual use of both Veterans Health Administration (VHA) and non-VHA care, coordinate care between both systems, integrate electronic information, and consider a pilot program through which to test these recommendations.

    Jul 2, 2013

  • magnifying glass and charts

    Brochure

    Evaluating Medicare Demonstration Projects

    RAND works closely with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to design, test, implement, and evaluate demonstration projects that span a wide range of care settings and issues.

    Jun 26, 2013

  • Medicare enrollment form

    Brochure

    Improving Medicare Payment Policies

    RAND's work on Medicare payment policies has played a major role in improving payment systems, helping to better align incentives for providers and promote delivery of high-value care for patients.

    Jun 26, 2013

  • A woman is wheeled through an emergency department on a gurney.

    Blog

    Covering Emergency Care for Young Adults: Is the ACA Doing Its Job?

    The dependent coverage provision of the Affordable Care Act is working as intended, say Andrew Mulcahy and Katherine Harris. In 2011, it spared individuals and hospitals from $147 million in emergency room costs.

    Jun 5, 2013

  • pills and 50 euro note

    Report

    International Price Comparison for Pharmaceuticals

    The international impact of pharmaceutical pricing changes in the United Kingdom is likely to be minimal or indirect. This is due largely to the diverse ways that various other countries implement international price comparisons.

    Jun 4, 2013

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    The Effects of Quality of Care on Cost: A Conceptual Framework

    The Quality-Cost Framework describes the mechanisms by which health-related quality of care affects health care and health status–related costs.

    Jun 1, 2013

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