Health Economics

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Financing the efficient delivery of medical services while reducing costs for consumers as well as health care providers is among the most challenging domestic policy problems many countries face. RAND addresses health economics issues through innovative, high-profile research in an effort to improve the efficiency of health care organizations, reduce costs for providers and consumers, and improve financing in health care markets.

  • Vials of COVID-19 vaccine, photo by MarsBars/Getty Images

    Report

    COVID-19 'Vaccine Nationalism' Could Cost $1.2 Trillion a Year

    Nationalistic behavior by governments may exclude some countries from access to COVID-19 vaccines. This could cost the world economy up to $1.2 trillion a year in GDP. A globally coordinated effort to fight the pandemic is key, not only from a public health perspective but also an economic one.

    Oct 28, 2020

  • Bottles of drugs on the shelf at the Rock Canyon Pharmacy, in Provo, Utah, May 9, 2019, photo by George Frey/Reuters

    Report

    U.S. Prescription Drug Prices Are 2.56 Times Those in Other Countries

    Prices for prescription drugs in the United States in 2018 were 256 percent of those in 32 comparison countries. For brand-name drugs, U.S. prices were 344 percent higher. But for generic drugs, they were only 84 percent of the average paid in other nations.

    Jan 28, 2021

Explore Health Economics

  • News Release

    News Release

    Strategies Could Curb Medicare Costs, but Also Drive Seniors Out of Insurance Program

    The rising cost of Medicare can be cut through strategies such as increasing premiums and raising the eligibility age, but those moves could drive many elderly Americans from the program, leaving them with limited access to health services.

    May 6, 2013

  • Couple reviewing finances with an advisor

    Commentary

    The Cost of Dementia: Who Will Pay?

    It is time for the government in partnership with industry to return to the drawing board to craft a plan that will provide protection for the more than 9 million people who will need care for dementia by 2040, writes Michael D. Hurd.

    May 1, 2013

  • Doctor examining female senior patient with elbow pain

    Journal Article

    Strategies Could Curb Medicare Costs, but Also Drive Seniors Out of the Program

    The rising cost of Medicare can be cut through strategies such as increasing premiums and raising the eligibility age, but those moves could drive many elderly Americans from the program, leaving them with limited access to health services.

    May 1, 2013

  • Young woman and grandfather sitting hand in hand at table

    Commentary

    Dementia's Growing Cost to Caregivers

    At the rate that the U.S. population is aging, the total cost of dementia could reach half a trillion dollars a year by 2040. Those who care for impaired relatives and friends are acutely aware of the effects of dementia, and unfortunately they are all too familiar with its costs, writes Kathleen J. Mullen.

    Apr 29, 2013

  • "My Medicaid Matters" rally on Capitol Hill

    Commentary

    Governors Missing the Point on Medicaid

    While a governor or legislator may disagree with Medicaid expansion for philosophical reasons, the claims that the expansion will be a burden on states' economies seem misguided given the full range of projected economic impacts on the states, writes Carter C. Price.

    Apr 29, 2013

  • Young doctor holding elderly woman

    Journal Article

    Impact of Socioeconomic Adjustment on Physicians' Relative Cost of Care

    Ongoing efforts to profile physicians on their relative cost of care have been criticized because they do not account for differences in patients' socioeconomic status (SES).

    Apr 26, 2013

  • U.S. Army medical researchers take part in World Malaria Day 2010, Kisumu, Kenya April 25, 2010

    Commentary

    The Economic Promise of Malaria Reduction

    Better understanding of how malaria reduction affects different households, regions, and economic sectors in Sub-Saharan Africa could allow policymakers to assess alternative intervention strategies and allocate resources more efficiently and effectively.

    Apr 24, 2013

  • an elderly woman with a caretaker

    Testimony

    The Monetary Costs of Dementia in the United States

    Identifying the costs of dementia is challenging because persons who have it are likely to have co-existing chronic health problems, making isolating the costs among other costs difficult. Also, it is unclear how to attribute a monetary cost to informal caregiving.

    Apr 24, 2013

  • an elderly couple, man possibly with dementia

    Journal Article

    Cost of Dementia Tops $159 Billion Annually in the United States

    The monetary cost of dementia in the United States ranges from $159 billion to $215 billion annually, making the disease more costly to the nation than either heart disease or cancer. The greatest cost is associated with providing institutional and home-based long-term care rather than medical services.

    Apr 1, 2013

  • Prescription pills spilled out over $20 bills.

    Commentary

    Remove Medicare's Straitjacket

    Removing the constraints on Medicare would not only lead to lower prices at the drugstore, hospital and doctor's office, it could spark a new era of healthcare innovation, writes Arthur Kellermann.

    Mar 29, 2013

  • News Release

    News Release

    Expanding Medicaid in Pennsylvania Would Sharply Increase Federal Revenue to State

    Expanding Medicaid in Pennsylvania under the Affordable Care Act would boost federal revenue to the state by more than $2 billion annually and provide 340,000 residents with health insurance.

    Mar 28, 2013

  • Pennsylvania state flag

    Report

    The Economic Impact of Medicaid Expansion on Pennsylvania

    If Pennsylvania opts into Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act, more residents would have health coverage and the state would enjoy a positive economic effect. However, benefits would have a long-term cost, with uneven regional results.

    Mar 28, 2013

  • woman receiving acupuncture treatment

    Journal Article

    Evaluating the Economics of Complementary and Integrative Medicine

    If CIM is to be considered in broader healthcare strategies, its economic impact must be determined.

    Mar 1, 2013

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    American Medical Association Impairment Ratings and Earnings Losses Due to Disability

    Impairment ratings are accurate predictors of disability severity on average, but their ability to measure disability could be improved with additional information on how the relationship between ratings and earnings loss varies according to patient and injury characteristics.

    Mar 1, 2013

  • doctor consoling elderly man

    Commentary

    A Health Care Entitlement Worth Ending

    The health care “entitlement” we need to reform is the notion that America's health care system is entitled to an ever-growing share of America's wealth, writes Arthur Kellermann.

    Feb 27, 2013

  • U.S. currency, pills, syringes, stethoscope

    Commentary

    25 Small Ideas for Saving Big Health Care Dollars

    Given the size of the annual “health care spend”—$2.7 trillion—summing up the savings associated with very minor cost-saving policy changes is likely to achieve significant aggregate savings, writes Jeffrey Wasserman.

    Jan 30, 2013

  • A stethoscope set atop U.S. currency

    Commentary

    Health Care Spending Growth Tamed? Hardly

    The growth of health care costs has slowed dramatically for the third consecutive year, but as the economy rebounds, spending growth could skyrocket, says Arthur Kellermann.

    Jan 25, 2013

  • hepatitis virus

    Report

    Hepatitis C: A projection of the healthcare and economic burden in the UK

    Work presented in this report sought to assess the healthcare and economic burden of the hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in the United Kingdom using a cohort simulation model.

    Jan 11, 2013

  • dollar sign and a stethoscope

    Commentary

    Health Care Costs Are Killing Us

    At a time when our country is teetering on the edge of a “fiscal cliff,” no challenge in health care is more important than reducing health care spending, writes Arthur L. Kellermann.

    Jan 4, 2013

  • Arkansas flag

    Report

    The Economic Impact of the ACA on Arkansas

    For Arkansas, the Affordable Care Act will result in an increase in GDP of around $550 million and the creation of about 6,200 jobs. The new law will also increase health insurance coverage by 400,000 newly insured individuals.

    Jan 3, 2013

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