Health, Health Care, and Aging

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RAND advances understanding of health and health behaviors, and examines how the organization and financing of care affect costs, quality, and access. Our body of research includes innovative studies of health insurance, health care reform, and health information technology, as well as obesity, substance abuse, and PTSD. RAND findings also help inform policies that aim to improve the health of seniors and the care they receive.

  • Laura Bogart, photo by Diane Baldwin/RAND Corporation

    Q&A

    Medical Mistrust Could Reduce Vaccine Uptake: Q&A with Laura Bogart

    Dec 23, 2020

    Laura Bogart, a senior behavioral scientist, studies how discrimination feeds medical mistrust and conspiracy beliefs. Her research on how mistrust became a barrier to treatment for Black Americans during the HIV epidemic sheds light on why some might question the safety of a COVID-19 vaccine.

  • A woman from Minnesota holds up her U.S. bottle of NovoLog insulin and a Canadian box of NovoRapid, which she bought at a pharmacy in Ontario, Canada, June 29, 2019, photo by Geoff Robins/The Canadian Press via AP

    Essay

    The Astronomical Price of Insulin Hurts American Families

    Jan 6, 2021

    More than 30 million Americans have diabetes, and nearly a quarter of them use insulin to manage their symptoms and prevent life-threatening complications. The price they have to pay for insulin is more than ten times higher than the average prices in 32 other countries combined.

Explore Health, Health Care, and Aging

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Health Effects of Heat Vulnerability in Rio De Janeiro: A Validation Model for Policy Applications

    Here we investigate how to construct and validate a heat vulnerability index given uncertainty ranges in data for the city of Rio de Janeiro. We find that we can validate the heat vulnerability index against excess deaths during heat waves.

    Nov 10, 2020

  • A person holds a credit card and types on a laptop while online shopping, photo by Ngampol/Adobe Stock

    Report

    How Is COVID-19 Changing Online Shopping Habits?

    Americans' online shopping habits have continued to shift during the pandemic. By August 2020, more people were shopping online, and 39 percent reported spending more money on their purchases. People who spent less were likely to have lost employment.

    Nov 10, 2020

  • A woman dressing her sick mother, photo by Phynart Studio/Getty Images

    Report

    Family Caregivers Should Be Included in Health Care Teams

    About 53 million family and friends provide care and assistance to loved ones in the United States, but they are often overlooked by health care systems. Integrating them into a patient's health care team can help improve care quality and the quality of life for patients and their families.

    Nov 10, 2020

  • Terri Tanielian waits for a House Committee on Veterans' Affairs hearing to begin in the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center, photo by Grace Evans/RAND Corporation

    Q&A

    A Voice for Veterans on Capitol Hill: Q&A with Terri Tanielian

    Terri Tanielian, a senior behavioral scientist at RAND and an internationally recognized expert on military and veteran health, spent six months as a fellow with the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs. She helped the committee develop a comprehensive suicide prevention strategy.

    Nov 6, 2020

  • Blog

    'Internet of Bodies,' COVID-19 as a Preexisting Condition, Preventive Health Care: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on the potential risks and benefits of the 'Internet of Bodies,' what might happen if the ACA is struck down and COVID-19 is considered a preexisting condition, a drop in the use of preventive care, and more.

    Nov 6, 2020

  • Empty medical office waiting room, photo by creativeneko/Getty Images

    News Release

    Preventive Health Care Dropped Significantly During First Two Months of Pandemic Lockdown; Study Finds Disparities in Switch to Telemedicine

    During the first two months of the pandemic lockdown, Americans dramatically reduced their use of preventive and elective health care, while increasing use of telemedicine—but the switch was not enough to offset reductions in in-person care.

    Nov 5, 2020

  • Older woman wakling on a trail in the woods, photo by Maurian Soares Salvador/Getty Images

    Commentary

    When In Doubt, Do What Doesn't Come Naturally

    When we are feeling anxious or depressed or otherwise bad, we experience a variety of urges toward things that we think will make us feel better, but ultimately make us feel worse. Connecting with a friend, exercising, accomplishing a task, and helping others are some things that can actually help.

    Nov 5, 2020

  • A nurse prepares to inject a potential COVID-19 vaccine into a human patient, photo by PordeeStudio/Adobe Stock.

    Research Brief

    Unequal Access to COVID-19 Vaccines Would Further Damage the Global Economy

    As long as the coronavirus is not under control in all regions of the world there will continue to be a global economic cost associated with COVID-19. Vaccine nationalism could cost up to $1.2 trillion a year in GDP. If the poorest countries cannot access vaccines, the loss would be between $60 and $340 billion a year.

    Nov 5, 2020

  • Health insurance form with model of COVID-19 virus and pen, photo by ajaykampani/Getty Images

    Commentary

    COVID-19: Preexisting Condition in a Post-ACA World?

    The Affordable Care Act is far from perfect, but its protections are particularly relevant to the COVID-19 pandemic. If the ACA is struck down, then protections for preexisting conditions will go with it. Policymakers should consider the potential implications for millions of COVID-19 survivors.

    Nov 4, 2020

  • Dan Smee deployed in Mosul, Iraq, photo courtesy of Dan Smee

    Essay

    There's Help for Veterans with Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders

    Many post-9/11 veterans who have PTSD or depression also struggle with substance use. There are clinically proven treatments to help break the cycle of the co-occurring disorders, but the VA and other facilities need guidance on how to expand and enhance treatment opportunities for these veterans.

    Nov 4, 2020

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Telehealth Capability Among Substance Use Disorder Treatment Facilities in Counties With High Versus Low COVID-19 Social Distancing

    This study aimed to To quantify the availability of telehealth services at substance use treatment facilities in the U.S. at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, and determine whether telehealth is available at facilities in counties with the greatest amount of social distancing. Relatively few substance use treatment facilities offered telehealth services at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Policymakers and public health officials should do more to support facilities in offering telehealth services.

    Nov 3, 2020

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Inpatient Patient Safety Events in Vulnerable Populations: A Retrospective Cohort Study

    In this retrospective study we found that a commonly used method for monitoring patient safety problems, namely voluntary incident reporting, may underdetect patent safety events in hospitalized vulnerable populations.

    Nov 3, 2020

  • Surreal landscape with a split road and signpost arrows, photo by Bulat Silvia/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Three Under-the-Radar Lessons from COVID-19

    COVID-19 has sculpted into high relief already recognized societal problems, which could be addressed once COVID-19 passes. Failure to do so could be a failure to learn the meta-lessons from COVID-19.

    Nov 2, 2020

  • The principal at Phoebe A. Hearst Elementary School hands a laptop to a student's parent in Sacramento, Calif., April 10, 2020, photo by Rich Pedroncelli/AP

    Essay

    How Schools Adjusted to Life Under COVID-19

    In spring 2020, nearly every school in America had to figure out how to make distance learning work. Some handed out thick packets of homework for students to do on their own. Others handed out laptops. Most principals agree that better planning for future closures should be a priority.

    Nov 2, 2020

  • A man using wearable sensor technology, photo by Prostock-Studio/Getty Images

    Report

    Law Enforcement Could Benefit from Wearable Sensor Technology

    Wearable sensor technology devices are not yet developed for law enforcement purposes, but they have potential to equip agencies with data to improve officer safety, health, and well-being. Now is the time for law enforcement to participate in the development process.

    Nov 2, 2020

  • Blog

    'Vaccine Nationalism,' a Pandemic Election, Women in the Workforce: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on why 'vaccine nationalism' could be costly, how Americans feel about voting during a pandemic, why women are leaving the workforce, and more.

    Oct 30, 2020

  • Woman and two young children place a ballot in a mailbox, photo by ArtMarie/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Democracy Depends on Hearing All Voters' Voices

    As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the confinement measures imposed in response, holding safe, effective, and timely democratic elections has become increasingly challenging. The risk of disenfranchising large parts of the electorate is real and should be prevented. In these difficult circumstances, governments need to increase their efforts to guarantee that every voter can exercise their right to vote.

    Oct 30, 2020

  • Mid adult Hispanic male veteran gestures as he discusses something during a veterans group meeting, photo by SDI Productions/Getty Images

    Commentary

    All Veterans with Invisible Wounds Should Receive High-Quality Care That Meets These Standards

    Millions of post-9/11 U.S. military veterans experience life-changing invisible wounds, including posttraumatic stress disorder and chronic issues resulting from traumatic brain injuries. While effective treatments are available, many veterans lack access to high-quality care. And what high-quality care means, exactly, has been elusive.

    Oct 30, 2020

  • In this video, RAND mathematician Mary Lee examines emerging Internet of Bodies (IoB) technologies.

    Multimedia

    What Is the Internet of Bodies?

    RAND mathematician Mary Lee examines technologies that make up the Internet of Bodies (IoB); explores their benefits, risks, and ethical implications; surveys the regulatory landscape; and makes recommendations to balance IoB risks and rewards.

    Oct 29, 2020

  • Graphic depicting a man surrounded by potential Internet of Bodies health devices, graphic by Alyson Youngblood/RAND Corporation

    Article

    The Internet of Bodies Will Change Everything, for Better or Worse

    The rise of devices that connect the human body to the web is accelerating rapidly. This Internet of Bodies could revolutionize health care and improve our quality of life. But without appropriate guardrails, it could also jeopardize our most intimate personal information and introduce several ethical concerns.

    Oct 29, 2020