Recent News

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

Petris Center Research Cited in Wall Street Journal Article “Why Americans Spend So Much on Health Care—In 12 Charts”

Posted on 31 Jul 2018
The Petris Center’s research on health care market concentration was cited today in the Wall Street Journal article “Why Americans Spend So Much on Health Care—In 12 Charts.” As the article explains, one reason health care prices are rising is due to increasing concentration across health care markets, particularly hospital markets. You can read the full article on the Wall Street Journal’s website here. To learn more about our findings on market concentration research, seem our recent blog on the Commonwealth Fund’s website “Market Concentration Variation of Health Care Providers and Health Insurers in the United States”, or visit our market concentration project page here.

Dr. Scheffler Quoted in SF Chronicle Article Discussing Expansion of Maternity Care, Economic Drivers

Posted on 31 Jul 2018
In an article discussing expanded care in a new San Francisco hospital, Petris Director Dr. Richard Scheffler was quoted regarding the general trend of hospitals in California towards maternity care in general. The article, titled “SF’s newest hospital to expand maternity care, end long-term nursing,” appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle on July 29th, 2018. According to Scheffler, “There’s big bucks in babies, hospitals know that,” Scheffler said. “I think this is a good thing, by the way. The more hospitals available in the Mission that can deliver babies, the better. … We get some form of increased competition. If it also happens to make money for them, this is America. This is the American health care system.” He continues to state that moving subacute care out of hospitals is a “positive development,” and that “long-term stays in hospitals can increase the chances of contracting a serious illness such as pneumonia, which can be par

Fulton, Arnold, and Scheffler Publish New Commonwealth Fund Blog: “Market Concentration Variation of Health Care Providers and Health Insurers in the United States”

Posted on 30 Jul 2018
Today, the Commonwealth Fund published a new To The Point Blog by the Petris Center’s Brent Fulton, Daniel Arnold, and Richard Scheffler. The blog, titled, “Market Concentration Variation of Health Care Providers and Health Insurers in the United States”, discusses the variability of health care concentration in the United States by MSA and what it means for state and federal regulation. You can read the full blog on the Commonwealth Fund’s website here. To learn more about the Petris Center’s market concentration research supported by the Commonwealth Fund, see our project page here.

New Policy Brief – “The Anxious Generation: The Causes and Consequences of Anxiety Disorder Among Young Americans”

Posted on 18 Jul 2018
Over the past year, the Petris Center has been conducting a study in collaboration with the Berkeley Center for the Future of Young Americans (BIFYA) on the alarming rise of anxiety in Millennials. The project has recently released its first policy brief, “The Anxious Generation: Causes and Consequences of Anxiety Disorder Among Young Americans.” The brief documents the study’s preliminary findings on the spike of anxiety among college students and young Americans. Today, anxiety disorder is the top presenting concern at college counseling centers, and rates are not only increasing, but also growing at a rate faster than depression and all mental health disorders combined. Existing research points to several possible factors contributing to this rise in anxiety, including financial stress, technology, social media, and sociopolitical factors. The next phase of the study, led by Petris Center Director Dr. Richard Scheffler, will delve into each of these determinants, a

Dr. Arnold Quoted in East Bay Express Article “Surviving in a Hospital Desert”

Posted on 18 Jul 2018
Petris Center Research Director Dr. Daniel Arnold was quoted in the East Bay Express’ July 11th article, “Surviving in a Hospital Desert.” The article explores the impending closure of emergency services at Alta Bates in Berkeley and the consequences it has for communities in the East Bay, especially Richmond. In the article, Dr. Arnold discusses the role of California’s “managed care revolution” and the merging of hospitals and health systems in hospital’s financial woes, and ultimate closures. You can read the full article on East Bay Express’s website here.

Petris Director Dr. Scheffler’s Analysis Featured in SF Chronicle Article Discussing the Shelving of SB538

Posted on 27 Jun 2018
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.  

Dr. Richard Scheffler quoted in Commonwealth Blog “AT&T, Time Warner, and the Future of Health Care”

Posted on 22 Jun 2018
On June 12th, a federal district court approved the the blockbuster merger between AT&T and Time Warner, rebuffing the government’s effort to stop the $85.4 billion deal. This decision is widely expected to encourage similar mergers throughout the US economy. Commonwealth Fund President David Blumenthal, MD, spoke about the potential impacts of this merger on the health care industry in his blog “AT&T, Time Warner, and the Future of Health Care” on the Commonwealth Fund website. The blog cites Petris Center Director Dr. Richard Scheffler’s research on the potential impact of the proposed CVS-Aetna merger, writing that based on Dr. Scheffler’s analysis, “the merger of these Part D plans would significantly reduce competition, and thereby, could potentially increase the prices of drug coverage for Medicare patients.” You can read the full blog post on the Commonwealth Fund site here.