Recent News

Just Released: WHO Report on Health Workforce Requirements Authored by Dr. Scheffler

Posted on 08 Nov 2016
Dr. Scheffler authored a new report just released by the World Health Organization (WHO), entitled “Health Workforce Requirements for Universial Health Coverage and the Sustainable Development Goals.” The paper analyzes the quantitative implications of and requirements for the implementation of the World Health Organization (WHO) Global Strategy on Human Resources for Health: Workforce 2030. The Strategy sets out the policy agenda to ensure a workforce that is fit for purpose to attain the targets of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), noting that a health workforce of adequate size and skills is critical to the attainment of any population health goal. The full paper can be read here.

New Article by Scheffler, Fulton, and Arnold to be Published in Health Affairs

Posted on 08 Nov 2016
A new article by the Petris Center’s Dr. Scheffler, Dr. Fulton, and Researcher Daniel Arnold – “Consumers Buy Lower-Cost Plans on Covered California Suggesting Premium Increases Are Less than Commonly Reported” – was accepted for publication by Health Affairs. This piece was authored along with Jon Gabel, Heidi Whitmore, Samuel Stromberg, and Matthew Green from NORC at the University of Chicago. More information on the article is forthcoming.

New World Bank Booked Edited By Dr. Scheffler: Health Labor Market Analyses in Low and Middle Income Countries

Posted on 14 Oct 2016
  The World Bank has just published a new book edited by Dr. Scheffler, Health Labor Market Analyses in Low and Middle Income Countries. Health Labor Market Analyses in Low and Middle Income Countries contains extensive collation of tools and data needs for health labor market analyses in low- and middle-income countries provides pragmatic guidance and concrete examples to address many of the challenges that universal health coverage and the health workforce face. These challenges include a potential deficit of 15 million health workers by 2030, the majority of these in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), while at the same time population growth, demographic and epidemiological transitions, and economic growth are creating additional demand for social and health care – needs equally challenged by the existing constraints on the technical and financial resources available.   The book offers planners and policy makers practical approaches to how they can assess the

Dr. Scheffler Among 33 Economists to File Amicus Brief with the Seventh Court of Appeals on FTC v. Advocate Health Network

Posted on 29 Jul 2016
This week, thirty-three of the most prominent economists in America with expertise in the subjects of antitrust, competition, and health economics, including Dr. Scheffler, filed an amicus brief with the Seventh Circuit of the US Court of Appeals regarding the case Federal Trade Commission v. Advocate Health Network. This case is an effort by the FTC to block the merger of Advocate Health Care Network and NorthShore University HealthSystem, two leading providers of general acute care inpatient hospital services in the North Shore area of Chicago, and is one of the FTC’s latest efforts in regulating hospital mergers. These efforts were blocked by a district court in June, with the FTC now appealing. In the brief, the thirty-three economists state that the analysis and conclusions the district court used in this case was based upon faulty economic reasoning, particularly as it relates to geographic market definition. In the brief, they explain that the district court “relied

Dr. Scheffler and Other Economists Publish Letter on Aetna-Humana Merger: Erroneous Market Definition

Posted on 26 Jul 2016
Twenty economists with expertise in the subjects of antitrust, competition policy, and health economics, including Dr. Scheffler, submitted a public letter to Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi on July 8th. The letter addressed the economists’ concern that the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR)’s recent decision to approve the Aetna-Humana merger is based on an erroneous belief that Medicare Advantage (MA) is in the same relevant product market as traditional fee-for-service Medicare (TM). Based on the commercial realities of the market and on scientific evidence from economic research, the twenty economists believe that the MA is not in the same relevant market as TM and, therefore, that the merger will cause a serious increase in concentration that raises a competitive concern. You can read the full letter here.

California Department of Insurance Urges DOJ to Block Anthem/Cigna Merger

Posted on 21 Jun 2016
Announced on June 16th, California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones has urged the U.S. Department of Justice to block the merger deal between Anthem, Inc., and Cigna Corporation. After an extensive review of the Anthem and Cigna merger, including expert testimony from Dr. Scheffler and Dr. Fulton, Commissioner Jones issued detailed findings that the merger of the second and fourth largest national health insurers is anti-competitive and will harm California consumers, businesses, and the California health insurance market. This marks the first instance of an insurance regulator opposing the merger of Anthem and Cigna. Full details of the California Department of Insurance’s decision can be read here. The full letter from the California Department of Insurance to the DOJ, which cites the research done by Drs. Scheffler and Fulton, can be read here.

Dr. Scheffler awarded Astor Visiting Lectureship to deliver Lectures at Oxford University in June

Posted on 25 May 2016
Dr. Scheffler was awarded the Astor Visiting Lectureship by Oxford University to deliver two lectures and a seminar in June at Oxford, in conjunction with the Oxford Department of International Development and the International Migration Institute. The full details can be viewed below or accessed here.

KQED: Covered California Helps Keep Premiums in Check, UC Berkeley Study Finds

Posted on 06 May 2016
KQED’s State of Health covered the Petris Center’s newly published paper in health affairs, “Differing Impacts Of Market Concentration On Affordable Care Act Marketplace Premiums.” The article covers the responses of Dr. Scheffler and others, including Covered California Director Peter Lee, in response to the paper’s findings: “The folklore in economics is that more choice is better,” economist Scheffler said. If offered too many choices in health insurance, “it becomes too much for consumers to look at and analyze and really absorb. So you’re better off having a smaller number of choices to plan on and pick from.” The full article can be read on KQED’s website here. More information about the Health Affairs paper can be found here.

Just Released in Health Affairs: Differing Impacts Of Market Concentration On Affordable Care Act Marketplace Premiums

Posted on 06 May 2016
Dr. Scheffler, Dr. Fulton, and Graduate Researcher Daniel Arnold, along with Dr. Sherry Glied of New York University, have a newly published paper in Health Affairs this week. The paper, “Differing Impacts Of Market Concentration On Affordable Care Act Marketplace Premiums,”examines recent increases in market concentration among health plans, hospitals, and medical groups in order to see the impact of these mergers on consumer’s costs. Specifically, the impact of concentration on health insurance premiums was examined in two Affordable Care Act state-based marketplaces: Covered California and NY State of Health, both for 2014-2015. Ultimately, the paper finds that both states exhibited a positive association between hospital concentration and premium growth and a positive (but not statistically significant) association between medical group concentration and premium growth, but differed between the two states, with premium growth in New York yet negative premium growt