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

  • Blog

    A Message from Our President, Medical Mistrust, Insulin Prices: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on Wednesday’s siege on the U.S. Capitol, Americans' psychological distress, medical mistrust and COVID-19 vaccines, and more.

    Jan 8, 2021

  • Overcoming Hurdles to Herd Immunity (Teaser)

    Multimedia

    Overcoming Hurdles to Herd Immunity

    RAND senior physician policy researcher Mahshid Abir describes several hurdles to achieving herd immunity to COVID-19, including the politicization of the vaccine and the spread of misinformation.

    Jan 8, 2021

  • Signage posted on the entrance of the New York State Department of Labor offices in the Brooklyn borough of New York City, March 20, 2020, photo by Andrew Kelly/Reuters

    Commentary

    A Bell That Can't Be Unrung: The CARES Act and Unemployment Insurance

    The CARES Act broadcasted to everyone that Unemployment Insurance can do better by workers and employers. Congress can debate the hows of permanent reform, but its actions in 2020 proved the need.

    Jan 7, 2021

  • Therapist Heather Guinn conducts a virtual session with a patient via telemedicine, April 22, 2020, photo by MaCabe Brown/Courier & Press/Reuters

    Commentary

    Patients Log On to See Their Own Doctors During the Pandemic

    Telehealth use has skyrocketed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Can this form of high-quality, low-cost care be maintained over the long term? As discussion of post-pandemic policies begins, lessons from patients' use of telehealth will provide valuable guidance.

    Jan 7, 2021

  • 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

    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.

    Jan 6, 2021

  • Woman wearing a face mask looks out a window in the rain, photo by FerreiraSilva/Getty Images

    News Release

    Prevalence of Psychological Distress During First Months of the Pandemic Equaled That Experienced During Prior Year

    The coronavirus pandemic is creating a large spike in significant psychological distress among Americans, with the first month of the pandemic causing as much distress in the same number of individuals that experienced it during the whole previous year.

    Jan 4, 2021

  • People wait in line at the St. Clements Food Pantry in New York City, December 11, 2020, poto by Carlo Allegri/Reuters

    Commentary

    Without Unemployment Benefits, How Might Americans Make Ends Meet?

    Do unemployment benefits keep people from accepting jobs? What effect do they have on the economy? Researchers and policymakers have been debating these issues since COVID-19 led to widespread job losses last spring.

    Dec 30, 2020

  • Chilean president Sebastián Piñera receives the first shipment of COVID-19 vaccines in Santiago de Chile, Chile, December 24, 2020, photo by Sebastian Rodríguez/Presidencia/Reuters

    Commentary

    Vaccine Nationalism Has Real Economic Consequences

    Vaccine nationalism, in which countries prioritize their domestic needs at the expense of others, will have significant global economic consequences. Major economies actually have more to gain by helping to make an effective COVID-19 vaccine widely available globally.

    Dec 30, 2020

  • Students wait to receive books during a materials distribution for distance learning at Heather Hills Elementary School in Bowie, MD, on August 26, 2020, photo by Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/Sipa USA via Reuters

    Commentary

    COVID-19's Long-Term Effects on Students

    The pandemic has created an unprecedented set of obstacles for schools and exacerbated existing structural inequalities in public education. It may take years to understand how COVID-19 affected student learning and social and emotional development and to identify any lasting effects on low-income communities and communities of color.

    Dec 29, 2020

  • Laura Bogart, photo by Diane Baldwin/RAND Corporation

    Q&A

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

    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.

    Dec 23, 2020

  • A worker sits on the back of a delivery truck during a snow storm in Boston, Massachusetts, December 17, 2020, photo by Brian Snyder/Reuters

    Commentary

    Teleworking During the COVID-19 Pandemic Highlights Educational Inequity

    The ability to telework is associated with both reduced risk of COVID-19 infection and with significantly lower risk of job loss. There are large disparities in who is able to telework by race and ethnicity—but even larger ones by educational attainment.

    Dec 23, 2020

  • Young woman pausing to take a breath in nature, photo by swissmediavision/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Four Gifts for Your Mental Health This (Pandemic) Holiday Season

    Our mental health relies on our ability to cope with and adapt to difficult situations, but the length and the scope of the impact of the pandemic on our lives is something most of us have never experienced. Here are four evidence-based strategies to support your mental health this holiday season.

    Dec 21, 2020

  • Blog

    The Most Popular RAND Research of 2020

    Here are the RAND research projects that resonated most in 2020, a year unlike any in living memory. Topics include remote learning, election disinformation, income inequality, and more.

    Dec 21, 2020

  • A man receives the first of two Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 shots, at Guy's Hospital in London, UK, December 8, 2020, photo by Victoria Jones/Pool/Reuters

    Commentary

    A Case for Vaccinating Teachers First

    Most agree that America's 18 million health care workers should top the list for COVID-19 vaccination. The 3.3 million teachers should come next. Vaccinating teachers could make it possible to open schools permanently and get parents back to work. That would help the economy recover.

    Dec 19, 2020

  • Blog

    RAND Commentary Highlights of 2020

    The roughly 400 op-eds and blog posts published by RAND researchers during the year reflected an enormous variety of expertise and perspectives, from remote education to election cybersecurity to the economic harms of racial disparities. Here are 10 highlights that landed in high-profile news outlets.

    Dec 18, 2020

  • Lynn Jones receives the COVID-19 vaccine at Jackson Madison County General Hospital in Jackson, Tennessee, Friday, Dec. 18, 2020, photo by Stephanie Amador/The Jackson Sun via Imagn Content Services, LLC/Reuters

    Commentary

    The Compensation System for Potential Side Effects Is an Important Part of a COVID-19 Vaccine Campaign

    Concern about potential COVID-19 vaccine side effects and their consequences may be contributing to Americans' reluctance to get vaccinated. Policymakers and the public should carefully consider what types and levels of compensation for any adverse effects of vaccination are truly fair and appropriate.

    Dec 18, 2020

  • Blog

    Americans' Financial Struggles, COVID-19 Vaccinations, Virtual Schools: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on Americans' ongoing financial struggles, how we can learn from the first phase of COVID-19 vaccinations, why virtual schools may be here to stay, and more.

    Dec 18, 2020

  • Benefits and Applications of a Standardized Definition of High-Quality Care (sm)

    Multimedia

    Benefits and Applications of a Standardized Definition of High-Quality Care

    RAND senior policy researcher Carrie Farmer presents several ways in which a standardized definition of high-quality care could be used by health care organizations, veterans, and payers.

    Dec 17, 2020

  • News Release

    News Release

    Financial Woes Grow Worse Over Course of Coronavirus Pandemic; More Families Report Trouble Paying Bills

    The economic challenges caused by the coronavirus pandemic have grown worse since the spring for many American families, with an increasing number reporting that they have trouble paying bills.

    Dec 17, 2020

  • People walk near India Gate on a smoggy afternoon in New Delhi, India, November 15, 2020, photo by Adnan Abidi/Reuters

    Commentary

    Curb Climate Change After COVID-19? Fast-Growing India and Brazil Are Key

    India and Brazil are facing pressure to launch recoveries after the economic devastation caused by the pandemic. Will they backslide on their Paris climate agreement commitments, or will the expected return of the United States to the pact encourage them to build a more sustainable economic future?

    Dec 15, 2020