Recent News

Petris Center Director Richard Scheffer at UCI 2019 Health Care Forecast Conference

Posted on 27 Mar 2019
Distinguished Professor Emeritus Richard Scheffler gave a presentation during the “Strategic Outlook on the Health Care Market” session as part of the UCI Health Care Forecast Conference on March 11, 2019. Scheffler focused on healthcare consolidation, mainly centered on current trends in hospital consolidation and the impact on prices in California. HHI (a measure of consolidation) and hospital prices demonstrate a positive correlation among California counties. Scheffler also touches on “large” vertical mergers including CVS-Aetna and Cigna-Express Scripts.

Petris Center Report Included in California Health Care Foundation Blog

Posted on 09 Mar 2019
“ Consolidation in California’s Health Care Market 2010-2016: Impact on Prices and ACA Premiums,” a paper published by the Petris Center in 2018 was featured in a CHCF Blog Post on March 1, 2019. The post, titled “The Price Isn’t Right,” included this report as evidence supporting consolidation leading to higher prices. The report found that 44 of California’s 58 counties have highly concentrated hospital markets and six others have moderately concentrated hospital markets. The Petris Center has continued to study consolidation and its impact on prices. Read the full blog post here. Read the report here.

Petris Center Letter-to-the-Editor Included in New York Times “Fixing Our Health Care System” Opinion Piece

Posted on 25 Feb 2019
Richard Scheffler and Steven Shortell’s letter-to-the-editor and paper “The Seven Percent Solution: Costing and Financing Universal Health Coverage in California” was featured in a February 24th opinion piece in the New York Times. The letter addresses the possibility to implement universal care in California via a public/private model. Given that Medicare-for-All will be in the spotlight during the 2020 election, it is important to consider alternatives to achieving universal coverage. To see the full letter, click here

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.