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

  • Volunteers help at an annual Thanksgiving turkey giveaway, Inglewood, California, November 23, 2020, photo by Mike Blake/Reuters

    Commentary

    COVID-19 Has Offered Opportunities for Communities to Come Together

    The past year has been among the most turbulent in recent memory. Might recent crises provide a catalyst for a renewed sense of civic engagement that transcends some of the race and class divisions COVID-19 has exacerbated?

    Jan 13, 2021

  • COVID-19 vaccination stations inside Hillcrest High School, a designated New York City priority vaccination center for people in group 1B, in Queens, NY, January 11, 2021, photo by Anthony Behar/Reuters

    Commentary

    COVID-19 Options for 2021

    The disorganized public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States helped ensure that the nation led the world in infections nearly from the beginning of the pandemic. With vaccines now becoming available, are we over the problem? Not necessarily.

    Jan 12, 2021

  • Digital image of heads with padlocks, photo by maxkabakov/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Now Could Be the Time to Form Policy for Emerging Brain- and Body-Enhancement Technologies

    Policymakers might consider developing appropriate policy frameworks for emerging brain- and body-enhancement technologies to ensure that innovations harnessed for societal, economic, or military benefits do not create new vulnerabilities and that governments adequately defend and manage against potential attacks. The technology is quickly moving forward. Policy may need to play catch-up.

    Jan 12, 2021

  • News Release

    News Release

    Transforming U.S. Mental Health System Is Possible; Broad Changes Will Be Needed to Improve Access and Quality

    Conditions are ripe for transforming the U.S. mental health care system, with scientific advances, the growth of Medicaid, and political consensus on the importance of improving mental health creating the possibility that goals once thought out of reach may be possible.

    Jan 11, 2021

  • Male black patient on conference video call with female Black doctor, photo by insta_photos/Getty Images

    News Release

    Use of Telehealth Jumped as Pandemic Shutdown Began; Use Is Highest for Mental Health Services

    Use of telehealth jumped sharply during the first months of the coronavirus pandemic shutdown, with the approach being used more often for behavioral health services than for medical care.

    Jan 11, 2021

  • The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is administered during a drive through event at InclusivCare in Avondale, Louisiana, January 9, 2021 photo by Kathleen Flynn/Reuters

    Blog

    As the Vaccines Arrive, So Do the Questions

    As the first COVID-19 vaccines are being administered across the United States, countless questions have arisen about what comes next. Is one vaccine better than another? Can the United States both speed up inoculation and overcome some people's hesitance to get the shot? RAND experts offer insights into the historic vaccine rollout.

    Jan 11, 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

  • 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

  • An illustration of a pacemaker in a person's chest, image by peterschreiber.media/Adobe Stock

    Essay

    Are We Ready for the Internet of Bodies?

    Any device can be hacked, including one inside the human body. We need to think through the privacy and security implications of devices that live with us. But we should also consider the life-changing, life-saving potential of technologies that know us inside and out.

    Jan 8, 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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