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 use disorders, and PTSD. RAND findings also help inform policies that aim to improve the health of seniors and the care they receive.

Explore Health, Health Care, and Aging

  • Packages of Suboxone photographed in a pharmacy in Remington, Virginia, February 26, 2019, photo by Kris Tripplaar/Reuters

    News Release

    Buprenorphine Use Remained Stable During First Year of Pandemic, but New Prescriptions Dropped During Period

    The number of active prescriptions for the opioid disorder treatment drug buprenorphine remained constant during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the number of new prescriptions for the treatment was far below what would normally have been expected.

    Dec 7, 2022

  • News Release

    News Release

    Americans' Spending Declines Consistently After Age 65; Finding Applies Broadly Across All Wealth Groups

    Americans' personal spending drops consistently after age 65, both among the affluent and those with lower levels of financial resources. The findings contradict traditional wisdom that spending will be constant or even increase during older age, and suggests that individuals and couples could spend more early in retirement.

    Dec 7, 2022

  • Kathy Spencer sorts the dozens of pills she must take since contracting COVID-19 in November 2020, in Kensington, Connecticut, January 11, 2022, photo by Mark Mirko/TNS/ABACA via Reuters Connect

    Commentary

    Long COVID Is a Mass Disability. The Labor Market Is in Denial

    Forget the work-from-home revolution or quiet quitting: The COVID-19 pandemic's biggest impact on the U.S. labor market will be as a mass disability event. It's a shock that the economy is not well prepared to handle.

    Dec 7, 2022

  • Black woman teacher in a classroom, photo by NappyStock/Pexels

    Commentary

    Keeping Teachers of Color in the Classroom Will Take More Than a Pay Raise

    All students—but particularly Black and Latinx students—benefit academically and socially from having teachers who are people of color. Policymakers and education leaders can help these teachers stay in the profession by making teaching more financially sustainable and fostering collegial relationships within school communities.

    Dec 1, 2022

  • A pedestrian passes a help wanted sign in the door of a hardware store in Cambridge, Massachusetts, July 8, 2022, photo by Brian Snyder/Reuters

    Commentary

    How COVID-19 Transformed the Jobs Market

    The COVID-19 pandemic initially devastated the U.S. economy. It also exposed and exacerbated existing inequities in society. But in as yet unpredictable ways, it may have accelerated profound changes in how labor works today.

    Dec 1, 2022

  • The Central Intelligence Agency flag displayed onstage during a national security conference in Washington, D.C., October 27, 2015, photo by Yuri Gripas/Reuters

    Commentary

    Intelligence Work Is Exciting. And Traumatizing

    The intelligence community needs to communicate to its workforce about the varied forms of trauma, how it affects individuals, and what resources exist to help. Protecting the intelligence workforce can help protect us all.

    Nov 30, 2022

  • People hold white sheets of paper in protest over COVID-19 restrictions in Beijing, China, November 27, 2022, photo by Thomas Peter/Reuters

    Commentary

    Five Factors to Watch as the Chinese Communist Party Faces Protests

    It may be too soon to compare protests against China's zero-COVID policy to the Tiananmen Square pro-democracy movement. However, looking back to 1989 can still provide valuable insights into what might happen next.

    Nov 30, 2022

  • Young Afro-Latina mother taking temperature of her child in bed, photo by Vesnaandjic/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Working Moms' Winter Math Is Getting Tougher

    Working mothers remain disproportionately responsible for raising children, and no one can work and take care of sick kids at the same time. In the coming months, the tripledemic of COVID, the flu, and RSV will pull a lot of working mothers out of the office for days at a stretch, compounding the obstacles that women already face.

    Nov 22, 2022

  • Latina mother and her sick son talking to a doctor on a video call, photo by Hispanolistic/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Informing the Debate About Telemedicine Reimbursement: What Do We Need to Know?

    At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. payers and policymakers broadly expanded payment for telemedicine services and relaxed many regulations. To decide the long-term fate of pandemic-era temporary telemedicine, policymakers should consider the effects of telemedicine on health care spending, patient outcomes, and health equity.

    Nov 21, 2022

  • News Release

    News Release

    Black Veterans Generally Have a Better Quality of Life Than Black Non-Veterans, but Still Struggle Compared to White ...

    Military service is associated with more-positive life outcomes and better economic prospects for Black Americans, despite facing greater health risks than their civilian counterparts.

    Nov 9, 2022

  • Cannabis plants growing on a residential apartment balcony in Saint Julian's, Malta, September 20, 2022 , photo by Vadim Pacajev/Reuters

    Commentary

    Cannabis Legalization in Europe: Planning Ahead

    Since 2012, multiple jurisdictions have changed their laws to legalize the production, possession, and use of cannabis for nonmedical purposes. While most of these changes took place in the Americas, there are signs that the European legal landscape might be changing, too.

    Nov 9, 2022

  • Black father with young, sick child having a telemedicine appointment with a doctor, photo by Geber86/Getty Images

    News Release

    Americans' Willingness to Use Video Telehealth Has Risen During COVID-19 Pandemic

    Americans' use and willingness to use video telehealth has increased since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, rising most sharply among Black Americans and people with less education.

    Nov 7, 2022

  • Older white woman with a blank stare holding her hadn to her forehead, photo by fizkes/Getty Images

    News Release

    Prevalence of Dementia Is Declining Among Older Americans; Inequalities Reduced but Still Persist

    The prevalence of dementia in the United States is declining among people over age 65, dropping 3.7 percentage points from 2000 to 2016.

    Nov 7, 2022

  • Black woman pharmacist explains medication to a Black male patient, photo by FG Trade/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Medicare Drug Price Negotiation: Key Decisions to Reach a 'Fair Price'

    Government negotiation of Medicare drug prices—even for a small set of older, single-source drugs—is a remarkable policy development. But how exactly will the government do it?

    Nov 7, 2022

  • Is Permanent DST a Health Risk

    Multimedia

    Is Permanent Daylight Saving Time a Health Risk?

    There is much debate over whether Daylight Saving Time or Standard Time should be permanent. Wendy Troxel, RAND senior behavioral and social scientist, explains why Standard Time is better for overall health and well-being.

    Nov 4, 2022

  • A health care worker prepares a COVID-19 booster shot at a McDonald's in Chicago, Illinois, December 21, 2021, photo by Jim Vondruska/Reuters

    Commentary

    The Equity-First Vaccination Initiative's Challenges and Successes

    The Equity-First Vaccination Initiative invested $21 million in community-based organizations to reduce racial disparities in vaccination rollout and support strengthening public health systems in the United States over the longer term. The initiative demonstrated a path forward for funders to center equity in their approach to grantmaking.

    Nov 3, 2022

  • Interior of Dog Tag Bakery with people ordering at the counter and sitting at tables, photo courtesy of Dog Tag Inc.

    Essay

    Dog Tag Bakery: A Fresh Start for Veterans

    A bakery in Washington, D.C., brings together service-disabled post–9/11 veterans, military spouses, and caregivers. For five months, they are immersed in an intensive entrepreneurial-focused business program. It's become a model for helping veterans and others in the military community reestablish their lives.

    Nov 1, 2022

  • Members from historic African-American churches in the Tampa Bay Area wait in line to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at the Greater Bethel Missionary Baptist Church in Tampa, Florida, February 14, 2021, photo by Octavio Jones/Reuters

    Essay

    The Impact of Racism on Patient Safety

    Minoritized patients are at high risk of experiencing what the medical field calls “patient safety events.” But the way the U.S. health care system tracks patient safety too often makes their experiences invisible. Better reporting would allow hospitals and other providers to identify disparities in care, and to address them.

    Oct 26, 2022

  • Abortion rights supporters protest outside the U.S. Supreme Court the day after its ruling that overturned Roe v Wade, in Washington, D.C., June 25, 2022, photo by Elizabeth Frantz/Reuters

    Q&A

    Abortion After the Dobbs Decision: Q&A with RAND Researchers

    The overturning of Roe v. Wade is likely to disproportionately affect vulnerable populations, including U.S. service women and pregnant women with substance use disorders. And abortion misinformation will likely increase. RAND researchers discuss these issues and potential policy responses.

    Oct 25, 2022

  • Menstrual cycle tracker mobile app on smartphone screen in hands of woman, graphic representation of period calendar on pink background, photo by Lari Bat/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Privacy Rights Have Changed. Will Data Handling Follow?

    Until privacy protection laws are cemented into place, consumer privacy won't be assured unless consumers can effectively take the steps they need to take to protect their data. Tech companies might view this as a burden, but there will likely be profits for those companies that instead see it as an opportunity.

    Oct 24, 2022