About Publications

Publications from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine provide objective and straightforward advice to decision makers and the public. This site includes Health and Medicine Division (HMD) publications released after 1998. A complete list of HMD’s publications from its establishment in 1970 to the present is available as a PDF.


  • The Role of Obesity in Cancer Survival and Recurrence ... Released: April 03, 2012
    Recent research suggests that obesity and excess weight can influence cancer survival and recurrence. Given the increasing rate of obesity and an aging population more susceptible to cancer, there is mounting concern about obesity’s role in fueling tumor growth. At an IOM workshop, experts presented the latest evidence on the obesity-cancer link and the possible mechanisms underlying that link, as well as potential interventions to mitigate the effects of obesity on cancer, and research and policy measures needed to counter the expected rise of cancer incidence and mortality due to an increasingly overweight and older population.
  • Evolution of Translational Omics: Lessons Learned and the ... Released: March 23, 2012
    Technologies collectively called omics enable simultaneous measurement of an enormous number of biomolecules; for example, genomics investigates thousands of DNA sequences, and proteomics examines large numbers of proteins. Scientists are using these technologies to develop innovative tests to detect disease and to predict a patient’s likelihood of responding to specific drugs. Following a recent case involving premature use of omics-based tests in cancer clinical trials at Duke University, the NCI requested that the IOM establish a committee to recommend ways to strengthen omics-based test development and evaluation. This report identifies best practices to enhance development, evaluation, and translation of omics-based tests while simultaneously reinforcing steps to ensure that these tests are appropriately assessed for scientific validity before they are used to guide patient treatment in clinical trials.
  • Allied Health Workforce and Services - Workshop Summary ... Released: December 08, 2011
    The demand for health care is growing as the nation ages and seeks to provide coverage for the millions of Americans who lack health insurance. At the same time, escalating costs have led to a variety of initiatives to make the delivery of health care more effective and efficient. The allied health workforce is critical to the success of these efforts. The IOM held a workshop May 9-10, 2011, to examine the current allied health care workforce and consider how it can contribute to improving health care access, quality, and effectiveness.
  • Breast Cancer and the Environment: A Life Course Approach ... Released: December 07, 2011
    More than 230,000 new cases of breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in the United States in 2011. The IOM was asked to review the current evidence on breast cancer and the environment, review challenges in studying this topic, explore evidence-based actions that women might take to reduce their risk, and recommend future research. Overall, it finds that major advances have been made in understanding breast cancer and its risk factors, but more needs to be learned about its causes, how environmental exposures affect risk for the disease, and how to prevent it.
  • Health IT and Patient Safety: Building Safer Systems for Better ... Released: November 08, 2011
    Health IT is designed to help improve the performance of health professionals, reduce costs, and enhance patient safety. However, poorly designed health IT can create new hazards in the already complex delivery of care. In the wake of more widespread use of health IT, the Department of Health and Human Services asked the IOM to evaluate safety concerns and recommend ways to make patient care safer using health IT. The IOM makes recommendations to improve transparency in the reporting of health IT safety incidents and enhance monitoring of health IT products, both of which can lead to improved care.
  • Facilitating Collaborations to Develop Combination ... Released: October 31, 2011
    Advances in biomedical research have increased our understanding of the complex nature of disease and the interaction of multiple molecular pathways involved in cancer. Combining investigational products early in their development is thought to be a promising strategy for identifying effective therapies. The IOM’s National Cancer Policy Forum held a workshop to discuss challenges and identify potential solutions to improve collaboration and advance the development of combination investigational cancer therapies.
  • Essential Health Benefits: Balancing Coverage and Cost ... Released: October 06, 2011
    The Department of Health and Human Services requested that the IOM recommend criteria and methods for determining and updating the essential health benefits (EHB) that, as specified in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, will be included in certain health insurance plans for individuals and small businesses beginning in 2014. The task of the IOM was not to decide what is covered in the EHB, but rather to propose a set of criteria and methods that should be used in deciding what benefits are most important for coverage. The committee saw its primary task as finding the right balance between making a breadth of coverage available for individuals at a cost they could afford. This balance will help ensure that an estimated 68 million people will have access to care covered by the EHB.
  • Geographic Adjustment in Medicare Payment: Phase I ... Released: September 28, 2011
    Medicare is the largest health insurer in the United States, providing coverage for 39 million people aged 65 and older and 8 million people with disabilities. Although Medicare is a national program, it adjusts fee-for-service payments according to the geographic location of a practice. At the request of Congress and the Department of Health and Human Services, the IOM examined ways to improve the accuracy of data sources and methods used for making the geographic adjustments in payments to providers. The IOM recommends an integrated approach that includes moving to a single source of wage and benefits data; changing to one set of payment areas and labor markets; and expanding the range of occupations included in the index calculations.
  • Implementing a National Cancer Clinical Trials System for the ... Released: July 22, 2011
    The National Cancer Institute’s Clinical Trials Cooperative Group Program works to advance patient care and research. Despite broad participation in the program, financial strain and procedural burdens limit the ability of the Cooperative Group Program to undertake medical practice-changing clinical research. The IOM’s National Cancer Policy Forum and the American Society of Clinical Oncology held a workshop on March 21, 2011 to follow up on the 2010 IOM report A National Clinical Trials System for the 21st Century: Reinvigorating the NCI Cooperative Group Program, which made recommendations to strengthen the NCI Cooperative Group Program.
  • Improving Access to Oral Health Care for Vulnerable and ... Released: July 13, 2011
    Good health requires good oral health, yet millions of Americans, especially vulnerable and underserved populations, lack access to basic oral health care. The Health Resources and Services Administration and the California HealthCare Foundation asked the IOM and the National Research Council to assess the current oral health care system and make recommendations on ways to improve access to care for vulnerable and underserved populations. The IOM recommends changes to incorporate oral health care into overall health care, changes in education and training of all types of health care professionals, and changes in how oral health care is financed and delivered.