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

  • Lesbian couple asleep in bed, photo by LeoPatrizi/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Why Couples Sleeping Apart Is Sometimes a Good Thing

    Sleep occupies a major part of a couples' shared experience. When we are well-slept we are happier, more empathic, better communicators, and better problem-solvers, all critical building blocks of healthy relationships.

    Apr 28, 2021

  • An autonomous shuttle in Las Vegas, photo by LPETTET/Getty Images

    Commentary

    If You Build Automated Vehicles, Will Older Adults Come?

    Whether older adults benefit from autonomous vehicles may hinge on taking explicit steps. Lessons can be learned from experiences with other technologies.

    Apr 28, 2021

  • News Release

    News Release

    U.S. Service Members in Generally Good Health, but Risky Behaviors Persist

    U.S. military service members are mostly healthy but the level of risky behaviors such as binge drinking, tobacco use, and unprotected sex is cause for concern.

    Apr 28, 2021

  • Staff Sgt. Sharonica White completes a deadlift repetition during the U.S. Army Japan 2020 Army Week's Army Combat Fitness Test Fitness Warrior Competition at Camp Zama, Japan, June 8, 2020, photo by Winifred Brown/U.S. Army

    Project

    What Do We Know About the Health and Well-Being of U.S. Service Members?

    RAND experts have analyzed data from the Department of Defense's flagship survey for understanding the health, health behaviors, and well-being of service members. The results provide valuable insights across various health-related topics and about personnel by service branch.

    Apr 28, 2021

  • Aerial view of a damaged home in the mountainous area of Barranquitas, Puerto Rico, October 9, 2017, photo by Andrea Booher/FEMA

    Q&A

    Disaster Recovery in Puerto Rico: Q&A with Marielena Lara

    When Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico in September 2017, it peeled roofs from houses, turned roads into rivers, and left millions of people without electricity or safe drinking water. Marielena Lara, a senior physician policy researcher at RAND, was grateful to be part of the recovery planning.

    Apr 26, 2021

  • Older couple using a mobile phone for a telemedicine appointment, photo by FatCamera/Getty Images

    Commentary

    No Patient Left Behind: Considering Equitable Distribution of Telehealth

    The pandemic has revealed telemedicine's potential to improve health care delivery and access. Telemedicine could help reach patients who would normally be excluded or alienated by the traditional structure of the health system.

    Apr 20, 2021

  • North Korean leader Kim Jong-un speaks during the conference of the Central Military Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea in this image released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on May 23, 2020, photo by KCNA/Reuters

    Commentary

    Think the Coronavirus Is Curbing Kim's Atomic Appetite? Think Again

    Coronavirus or not, Kim Jong-un's appetite for nuclear and missile bargaining with the United States remains intact. This likely spells further weapons demonstrations from North Korea, with potentially longer-range missile demonstrations to test Washington's resolve in its nuclear negotiations with Pyongyang.

    Apr 20, 2021

  • Still from a documentary by a North Korean TV station, titled “The efforts and sacrifices (of the Chairman of the North Korean State Affairs Committee, Kim Jong-un) for the people in 2020,” broadcast February 1, 2021, photo by KCTV via / Latin America News Agency/Reuters

    Commentary

    COVID-19 Exacerbates North Korea's Bad Choices

    Recently, Kim Jong-un admitted that North Korea is facing a dire situation. It was surprising that he would admit circumstances which at face value suggest major failures on his part. Why is Kim admitting that such circumstances are developing in the North now?

    Apr 20, 2021

  • Elementary schoolchildren wearing face masks in a classroom, photo by kevajefimija/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Commit Now to Get Summer Programming Right

    When summer programs are targeted to needs, intentionally designed, and well attended, they produce positive outcomes in math and reading. But these programs need federal support, and they require early planning.

    Apr 15, 2021

  • Busy family morning in the kitchen, photo by Getty Images

    Commentary

    Waking Up in a Post–COVID-19 World

    When it comes to morning wake schedules, adjusting to post–COVID-19 life may be a challenge. Taking small steps now may help you prepare for the shock of returning to the morning rush.

    Apr 14, 2021

  • Large group of people making a virus shape, photo by NiseriN/Getty Images

    Commentary

    The Impact of the Pandemic on Demographic Trends

    Key demographic trends in fertility, mortality, and migration are responsible for shifts in the overall structure of any population. COVID-19 has affected each of these, with potentially important implications.

    Apr 12, 2021

  • Employees assemble ventilator components behind a plastic curtain at a GE Healthcare manufacturing facility in Madison, Wisconsin, April 21, 2020, photo by Daniel Acker/Reuters

    Commentary

    Supply Chains and National Security

    Lessons from the pandemic will be sorted through for years. But one thing seems very clear: The United States is not ready in a policy or infrastructure or even physical-capacity sense to respond to major shocks to its supply chains.

    Apr 12, 2021

  • News Release

    News Release

    Liaison and Diversion Services Can Help Vulnerable People in the Criminal Justice System

    An NHS England programme aimed at supporting vulnerable people in the criminal justice system may significantly reduce the chances of those with mental and other health needs from receiving custodial sentences.

    Apr 12, 2021

  • Nurse practitioner Lisa Flemmons and chief nursing officer Robin L. Steaban give a thumbs up after Flemmons received a COVID-19 vaccine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee, December 17, 2020, photo by George Walker IV/USA Today via Reuters

    Commentary

    Who Can Effectively Champion the Vax?

    Vaccine hesitancy appears to be one more hurdle in ending the COVID-19 pandemic. The CDC would typically lead a campaign to overcome it, but Americans' trust in the CDC has declined measurably. Health care professionals may be more effective messengers when it comes to COVID-19 vaccines.

    Apr 9, 2021

  • Nurse Nicole McCurrach draws up COVID-19 vaccinations at Richmond raceway in Richmond, Virginia, March 4, 2021, photo by Julia Rendleman/Reuters

    Commentary

    Target Vaccine to 'High-Contact' People

    Actively seeking out people with lots of contacts for vaccination could bring the epidemic under control much more quickly than vaccinating people at random. Vaccinating just 15 percent of the population would be enough to crush the epidemic—so long as it was the right 15 percent.

    Apr 9, 2021

  • Elderly Asian woman on wheelchair at home with daughter taking care of her, photo by Toa55/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Rescue Plan Help for Family Caregivers Is a First Step

    Unpaid caregivers have been a critical part of the functioning U.S. economy, serving as the backbone of the health system, since long before the pandemic started. Adding them to the American Rescue Plan was an important step, but even after the pandemic is over, their financial security will need long-term protection.

    Apr 5, 2021

  • News Release

    News Release

    Public Trust of the Centers for Disease Control Falls During Coronavirus Pandemic

    Public trust in the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has fallen during the coronavirus pandemic, with the decline bringing overall population-level trust in the agency to the same lower level of trust long held by Black Americans about the agency.

    Apr 5, 2021

  • News Release

    News Release

    Geographic Barriers to Behavioral Health Care May Put Remote Service Members at Risk

    Remote service members may face challenges accessing and receiving high-quality behavioral health care through the Military Health System, putting them at a greater risk for negative outcomes related to behavioral health issues.

    Mar 31, 2021

  • The Role of Data in the Fight Against COVID-19

    Multimedia

    The Role of Data in the Fight Against COVID-19

    RAND senior physician policy researcher Mahshid Abir discusses the importance of accurate and efficient reporting of COVID-related outcomes in the fight against COVID-19.

    Mar 22, 2021

  • Radiology tech preparing a patient for a mammogram, photo by AleksandarNakic/Getty Images

    News Release

    Use of Common Cancer Screenings Rebounded Quickly After Dropping at Start of the Pandemic

    Screenings for breast cancer and colon cancer dropped dramatically during the early months of the coronavirus pandemic, but use of the procedures returned to near-normal levels by the end of July 2020.

    Mar 22, 2021