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Although the bill was withdrawn, state Sen. Bill Monning’s SB538 aimed to end the “all-or-nothing” contracting practice in hospital consolidation, which effectively grants large health systems and their affiliates greater power to set regional prices. Petris Director Richard Scheffler’s analysis demonstrated significant price differences between Northern and Southern California, directly tying into these effects of hospital consolidation. His research shows 20-30% higher prices in Northern California, and it was also included in the basis for CA Attorney General Xavier Becerra’s lawsuit against Sutter for anticompetitive business practices.
You can read the full SF Chronicle article that features his research in its discussion of SB 538 here.