Recent News

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

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.