Recent News

Petris Center White Paper Proposes Plan to Achieve Universal Coverage in California and Strategies to Contain Growing Healthcare Costs

Posted on 12 Feb 2019
Health Affairs published a blog post on February 8th describing the a new paper by the Petris Center. The paper “proposes an alternative path to move California towards universal coverage using a two-pronged approach: controlling high health care costs and employing novel sources of financing for universal coverage. This plan would provide health coverage to 3.55 million uninsured Californians, including low-income and undocumented persons, as well as those who receive only partial Medicaid benefits in line with the definition of insured used by the Congressional Budget Office. The key element of this approach is the use of risk-based capitated care delivery models.” The blog post can be read here The full paper can be accessed here

Petris Center Analysis Featured In Wall Street Journal Article

Posted on 12 Feb 2019
In a December 27th article published in the Wall Street Journal, the Petris Center contributed an analysis demonstrating the growing trends for physicians being employed by hospitals rather than by medical groups or independent practices, seen in a graphic in the article. The article provides insight into the increasingly higher costs of care when provided by a hospital group as compared to a doctor’s office. It also points to doctors referring their patients to hospitals that they are affiliated with, despite the higher costs for not only the insurer, but in out-of-pocket costs for patients. This article describes the growing trend of hospital acquisitions of physician groups and the resulting increase in prices for patients, but it mainly focuses on the knowledge asymmetry of doctors referring patients to a more expensive option they are affiliated with and often times are “required” by their employer to recommend. Read the full article here Health Affairs arti

Petris Article Included List of New York Times Top Health and Medicine Stories of Year

Posted on 10 Feb 2019
A New York Times article published earlier this year, included a Petris Center analysis finding that increasing hospital prices for patients were due to the growing rate of hospital mergers. This article eventually was placed on a list of the most relevant health and medicine stories of the year from the New York Times. Read the full New York Times article here.

Petris Center Analysis Featured as Basis for New York Times Article

Posted on 19 Nov 2018
In a November 14th article by Reed Abelson of the New York Times, the Petris Center provided analysis that forms the basis of the piece’s discussion of hospital mergers and their effects on consumer prices. The article relies on data and case studies that compare regions with varying levels of hospital consolidation and how the prices in that hospital changed in relation to averages for the area. Ultimately, the article shows that these increased trends toward consolidation are costing patients more, as demonstrated in studies of metropolitan areas throughout the Northeast, Pacific Northwest, South, and Texas. Although California metropolitan areas are not featured in the article itself, this research plays an important role in the state, with CA Attorney General Xavier Becerra claiming that one has to “watch for these systems throwing their weight around… we are looking for cases where consolidation does nothing for efficiency and leads to distortions of the market.&

Jefferson Public Radio Hosts Dr. Scheffler to Discuss Future of CA Health Insurance

Posted on 14 Oct 2018
The Petris Center Director, Dr. Richard Scheffler, recently had the opportunity to discuss several aspects of California healthcare with a host of Jefferson Public Radio, Geoffrey Riley. Some of these topics included California’s leading policy charges for the nation, and how this state’s moves will influence the rest of the country. Scheffler offers guidance on whether the state should continue supporting the ACA or move towards a single-payer system. The interview focuses more in insurance options and their respective viabilities for the Golden State. Listen to the full remarks here.

Dr. Scheffler Showcases Petris Report in Santa Monica Forum: Health and Health Care in California

Posted on 04 Oct 2018
In September, Petris Center Director Dr. Richard Scheffler was able to present at a Health Affairs forum located at the RAND Corporation’s Santa Monica Headquarters in Los Angeles. The day-long event featured a variety of related topics including hospital consolidation, universal health care, and diversity disparities in care. California Health Secretary Michael Wilkening presented opening remarks, followed by a series of presenters including Dr. Scheffler, who showcased the Petris Center report “Consolidation Trends In California: Impacts On ACA Premiums And Physician Prices For Outpatient Services.” Watch the webcast of the full forum here. A more detailed list of topics and attendees can be found here. Read the full Petris report through Health Affairs here.

New Petris Report Featured in The Daily Californian

Posted on 24 Sep 2018
A recent article by the Daily Californian, “UC Berkeley study finds link between hospital consolidation, higher prices for patients,” cites the Petris Center’s September report that shows an association between a rise in ACA premiums and increasing hospital consolidation in Northern California. The piece quotes Petris Center Director Dr. Richard Scheffler and shows that the “price increases that we document in this study have real relevance for the Berkeley community,” and that hospital consolidation in the Bay Area has led to “many physician groups now owned by hospitals or health systems.” Scheffler’s comments indicate that more attention from regulators and legislators is key in the future. Check out the rest of the Daily Cal article here. Read the full Petris report here.

Petris Center Director Dr. Scheffler Quoted in SF Chronicle Article About Hospital Consolidation of Physicians

Posted on 10 Sep 2018
This week, Petris Center Director Dr. Scheffler was quoted in the San Francisco Chronicle, “Bay Area doctor’s legal fight highlights medical industry pressures,” which detailed one doctor’s struggles with an increasingly consolidated health care system. Recently, the Petris Center released a new report in Health Affairs called “Consolidation Trends In California’s Health Care System: Impacts On ACA Premiums And Outpatient Visit Prices,” which deals directly with these pressures intensifying in California. The SF Chronicle article describes this doctor’s legal battle with her former hospital, then moves to a broader discussion of the current health care market, citing Dr. Scheffler. “A health care system looks at cost and productivity, not just the care of the patient. It changes everything because the system has to deal with costs, improve productivity, it’s owned by the hospital and they want to tell (doctors) to do more so they can bill more. There

New Petris Report Receives Wide Press Coverage

Posted on 08 Sep 2018
This month Health Affairs published a new Petris report, “Consolidation Trends In California’s Health Care System: Impacts On ACA Premiums And Outpatient Visit Prices.” Since, the study has been referenced heavily in recent days in such places as the San Francisco Chronicle, Modern Healthcare, California Healthline, and the American Journal of Managed Care, the last of which provided clear and concise analysis of the report, describing Petris’s use of “hot spots” to assess heavily concentrated markets in California. The report itself focused on trends, by both vertical and horizontal integration, towards a heavily-concentrated health care market in California and their impact on prices. The San Francisco Chronicle quotes Petris Center Director Richard Scheffler that practices of hospitals buying physician groups are not “illegal,” but that there is a “potential branding effect” where “people are willing to pay more, insurance