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.

Explore Health, Health Care, and Aging

  • A magnifying glass held up to an enlarged COVID-19 virus, photo by Stockcrafter/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Origin Story: How Did the Coronavirus Emerge?

    President Joe Biden has called for the U.S. intelligence community to redouble efforts to determine the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic. In conducting this investigation, it might be useful to avoid only focusing on a binary choice. That is, either the virus escaped from the laboratory or from a spillover from an infected animal to a human.

    Jun 2, 2021

  • Crane trucks in the construction of a bridge, photo by Juan Enrique del Barrio/Adobe Stock

    Commentary

    New Thinking to Translate Infrastructure Dollars into Resilience

    Infrastructure investments the United States makes today to recover from the pandemic can help boost resilience for the future. We will need to think beyond what we've done in the past to ensure that these investments can continue to protect the nation from shifting threats in the future.

    Jun 2, 2021

  • Closeup of a doctor's hand, writing a prescription, Photo by LumiNola/Getty Images

    News Release

    Most Prescriptions for Opioid Addiction Medication Buprenorphine Are Written by a Small Number of Providers

    Half of all patient-months of buprenorphine treatment during 2016 and 2017 were prescribed by just 4.9% of the physicians and other providers who prescribed the drug during the period.

    Jun 1, 2021

  • Man with MS with his caregiver, photo by BanksPhotos/Getty Images

    Commentary

    The Informal Carers Who Help People with MS Need Support More Than Ever

    The trend within health care services toward remote care and self-management for people with multiple sclerosis has not included adequate support to carers. Greater investment to support the needs of carers could support the informal care they provide, as well as the carer as an individual.

    May 28, 2021

  • RAND Weekly Recap

    Blog

    Reopening the U.S. Economy, Geoengineering, 5G: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on the potential effects of reopening the economy before the White House's vaccination goal is met, students' learning experiences during the pandemic, competition in the 5G era, and more.

    May 28, 2021

  • Soldiers assigned to the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment place American flags at headstones ahead of Memorial Day in Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia, May 21, 2020, photo by Elizabeth Fraser/U.S. Army

    Commentary

    A Memorial Day Like No Other

    Although Memorial Day is and should be dedicated to our fallen military personnel and veterans, this year, especially, we are reminded that service to the country comes in many forms.

    May 27, 2021

  • A child getting a routine vaccination, photo by FatCamera/Getty Images

    News Release

    Evaluation of Safety Studies Affirms That Vaccines Are Safe for Children and Adults

    A new study looking across a large body of research finds further evidence for the safety of vaccines that are Food and Drug Administration–approved and routinely recommended for children, adults, and pregnant women. The study updates a vaccine safety review that was released in 2014.

    May 26, 2021

  • The “LUKE” prosthetic arm developed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, photo by DARPA

    Commentary

    Biden's Proposed New Health Agency Would Emphasize Innovation. Here's How It Might Work

    President Biden has proposed a new health agency modeled on DARPA to work on groundbreaking research. This agency could pursue the kind of high-risk research that can lead to high-reward results and help get more medical treatments to market sooner.

    May 24, 2021

  • A healthcare worker holds syringes with COVID-19 vaccines at a vaccination center, in El Paso, Texas, May 6, 2021, photo by Jose Luis Gonzalez/Reuters

    Commentary

    Will the United States Declare Freedom from COVID-19 Too Soon?

    RAND analyzed what could happen with COVID-19 deaths in the United States if restrictions all go away on July 4. Fully reopening the economy before Biden's vaccination target was met doubled the average number of COVID-19 deaths between Independence Day and the end of the year.

    May 21, 2021

  • RAND Weekly Recap

    Blog

    Vaccine Hesitancy, Working from Home, Arctic Diplomacy: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on vaccine hesitancy as a symptom of ‘Truth Decay,’ how to make remote work beneficial for all, U.S. Arctic diplomacy, and more.

    May 21, 2021

  • Woman walking by a convenience store with signs indicating acceptance of WIC and food stamps in Chelsea, Massachusetts, April 16, 2020, photo by Keiko Hiromi/Reuters

    Commentary

    The Biden Administration's Chance to Improve SNAP and Nutrition Support

    If policymakers were to make permanent the relaxed rules forced by the COVID-19 pandemic, it could be a start to increased racial equity in SNAP. Given broad public support for SNAP, making benefits easier to access, particularly for those already eligible, could be a bipartisan priority.

    May 19, 2021

  • Vials with Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccine labels, March 19, 2021, photo by Dado Ruvic/Reuters

    Commentary

    Vaccine Patents Debate Risks Becoming a Sideshow

    As COVID-19 cases continue to surge around the world, the debate is raging over whether patents on existing vaccines should be waived. But the global community could view patent waivers as just one of many available tools for speeding up vaccine delivery worldwide.

    May 17, 2021

  • Environmental advocates join Washington D.C.–area students at a rally on the Ellipse near the White House in Washington, D.C., September 13, 2019, photo by Leah Millis/Reuters

    Commentary

    COVID-19 and Climate Change Both Require One Generation to Sacrifice for Another

    COVID-19 and climate change are both global phenomena that left unmanaged will inflict excruciating human and economic tolls. They also require a similar mix of approaches to solve. But they have one more similarity that attracts less attention: they both require one generation to change behavior in support of another.

    May 17, 2021

  • Technology recruiter Penny Bailey works from home in San Francisco, California, January 6, 2021, photo by Jane Tyska/TNS/ABACA via Reuters Connect

    Commentary

    Inequality in Opportunity to Work from Home an Underlying Condition Likely Aggravated by the Pandemic

    Building a safe, healthy workforce where success, productivity, and financial security are available to all segments of American society could provide resilience against inevitable future shockwaves. Since working from home is a key part of such resilience, policymakers could focus on supporting the advantages, remediating the downsides, and expanding access to this form of work.

    May 14, 2021

  • RAND Weekly Recap

    Blog

    Pandemic Education, Working Mothers, Predicting Cyber Threats: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on the urban-rural divide in pandemic education, supporting working moms, what makes a good COVID-19 reopening plan, and more.

    May 14, 2021

  • A health care worker from the El Paso Fire Department administers a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination center in El Paso, Texas, May 7, 2021, photo by Jose Luis Gonzalez/Reuters

    Commentary

    How Truth Decay Is Fueling Vaccine Hesitancy

    A recent poll found that more than a quarter of Americans will not try to get vaccinated. The spread of misinformation and disinformation, which is rampant over social media, is one of the factors fueling vaccine hesitancy. And in turn, it's threatening our ability to end the pandemic for good.

    May 14, 2021

  • Margaret Keenan, 90, receives Britain's first Pfizer/BioNtech COVID-19 vaccination at University Hospital in Coventry, UK, December 8, 2020, photo by Jacob King/Pool via Reuters

    Commentary

    The Pivotal Role of Remote Working in the Journey to Jab the Nation

    Pulling the UK COVID-19 vaccination program together was an immense logistical and technical effort. Had it not been for the working practices mandated by the lockdown, it would have been even more difficult. What changed over the pandemic to allow this to happen?

    May 13, 2021

  • An employee works on final assembly of ventilators at Ventec Life Systems, in Bothell, Washington, March 18, 2020, photo by Lindsey Wasson/Reuters

    Commentary

    Supply Chains and National Security

    The many pandemic-related shortages that occurred in the United States and elsewhere provide a clear warning. Serious supply-chain vulnerabilities exist. We need to learn much more about this potential threat to national security.

    May 11, 2021

  • News Release

    News Release

    Rural School Districts Swifter to Return to In-Person Instruction Than Urban Districts

    About 42% of rural school districts in the United States offered fully in-person instruction as of February, compared with only 17% for urban districts. The opposite pattern held for fully remote learning: 29% of urban districts offered fully remote instruction compared with 10% of rural districts and 18% of suburban districts.

    May 11, 2021

  • Young Black woman testing her blood sugar, photo by PixelsEffect/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Mothers Need a Continuous System of Care Even After Babies Are Born

    In the United States, babies are born into a system of well-child care—a series of planned health care visits designed to protect their health from day one through age six. But no such system exists for their mothers. How do we create a system of health care for mothers that mirrors well-child care?

    May 10, 2021