Recent News

Capital Public Radio Discusses Potential Political Effects of New Petris Report: “Health Care Mergers And Rising Prices Under Scrutiny In California”

Posted on 26 Mar 2018
Sacramento’s Capital Public Radio published an article today about the Petris Center’s new report on consolidation in California’s health care markets and its potential to have broader political effects. The article discusses how health care consolidation — identified in part by the new Petris Center report — and the effect of the consolidation on prices and premiums have caught the eye of California elected officials, ranging from the state legislature to the California Attorney General’s office. The article concludes with a quote from Petris Center Director Dr. Richard Scheffler on the potential cost savings that addressing consolidation would bring. You can read the Capital Public Radio article here. You can read the newly released Petris Center report “Consolidation in California’s Health Care Market 2010-2016: Impact on Prices and ACA Premiums” here. You can also listen to the audio of the press conference with California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and

Petris Report Covered in SF Chronicle: “Healthcare costs 30% more in Northern than in Southern California”

Posted on 26 Mar 2018
Today, the San Francisco Chronicle published an article covering a newly released Petris Center report on consolidation in California’s health care markets. The article, entitled “Healthcare costs 30% more in Northern than in Southern California”, discusses the report’s key finding that people living in areas where there is greater consolidation among hospitals, physician groups and insurance companies pay more for health care. In particular, the article focuses on the report’s finding that “prices for medical procedures are 20 to 30 percent higher in Northern California than in Southern California — even after adjusting for the Bay Area’s higher cost of living and wages.” You can read the full San Francisco Chronicle article here. You can read the newly released Petris Center report “Consolidation in California’s Health Care Market 2010-2016: Impact on Prices and ACA Premiums” here. You can also listen to the audio of the press con

California Attorney General Holds Press Conference with Dr. Scheffler to Announce New Petris Report on California’s Healthcare Market Concentration

Posted on 26 Mar 2018
This morning, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and Petris Center Director Dr. Richard Scheffler held a press conference to release a new report by the Petris Center. The report, entitled “Consolidation in California’s Health Care Market 2010-2016: Impact on Prices and ACA Premiums,” shows the rapid and considerable consolidation of hospital, physician, and health care insurance markets across the state. It provides evidence that these highly concentrated markets are associated with higher healthcare costs for consumers – including that healthcare prices can cost up to 30% more in Northern California than in Southern California, even after adjusting for the Bay Area’s higher cost of living and wages. During the press conference, Attorney General Becerra announced his office’s intentions to review the report closely and work with Dr. Scheffler and the Petris Center to probe deeper into the issue of healthcare market concentration in CA. You can rea

Just Released in Human Resource for Health – “Forecasting Imbalances in the Global Health Labor Market and Devising Policy Responses”

Posted on 16 Jan 2018
Petris Center researchers have a new paper released in the Journal of Human Resources for Health. The paper, titled “Forecasting Imbalances in the Global Health Labor Market and Devising Policy Responses”, was co-authored by Petris Center Director Dr. Richard Scheffler and Petris Research Director Dr. Daniel Arnold, as well as researchers from the WHO, World Bank, OCED, UC Irvine, and UCSF. The paper examines two recent key workforce reports – one done by the World Health Organization (WHO) that used a needs-based approach and one done by the World Bank that uses a labor market approach – examining how their key findings were developed, the global policy dilemmas they raise, and relevant policy solutions. The full paper can be accessed here.

Dr. Scheffler Quoted in LA Times Article on Pharma Industry’s Attempt to Undermine California’s new Drug Pricing Transparency Law

Posted on 15 Dec 2017
Petris Center Director Dr. Richard Scheffler was quoted in the article “Drug industry lawsuit shows it wants to keep patients in dark on pricing”, published today in the Los Angeles Times. The article covers Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America’s lawsuit seeking to derail a SB 17, a new California law that will require 60 days’ notice before drugmakers raise prices beyond a certain threshold once it goes into effect on January 1, 2018. In the article, Dr. Scheffler discusses the pharmaceutical industry’s motivation for the lawsuit and future actions they may take. You can read the full article, part of David Lazarus’ Consumer Confidential column, here.

New Health Affairs Blog – When Markets Are Heavily Concentrated, Managed Competition Cannot Work: Lessons From California

Posted on 05 Dec 2017
Today, Health Affairs published a new blog by Petris Center director Dr. Scheffler, entitled “When Markets Are Heavily Concentrated, Managed Competition Cannot Work: Lessons From California.” The blog is a response to Dr. Alain Enthoven, who writes that we should have “market control” and not “political control”  of our health system. It discusses how high levels of hospital and physician market concentration in California have prevented competition from happening in many counties and have increased prices for consumers – meaning competition alone is unlike to work to make coverage and care accessible and affordable in California. Dr. Scheffler ends by calling for governments and markets to work together, such as Covered California, or an even bolder approach, like a single-payer plan. You can read the full blog on Health Affairs‘ website here.

Dr. Scheffler Interviewed on KCBS Radio about CVS-Aetna Merger

Posted on 04 Dec 2017
On December 3rd, drug retailer CVS and health insurer Aetna announced their companies’ $69-billion merger deal. Aetna’s CEO Mark Bertolini said the deal will “dramatically further empower consumers,” while Larry J. Merlo, president and CEO of CVS Health, said it will “create a platform that is easier to use and less expensive for consumers.” Are these claims true, and could the merger actually help benefit consumers with lower prices? Dr. Scheffler weighed in on the consumer impacts of the merger today in an interview on KCBS radio. You can listen to the full audio of his interview here.

Dr. Scheffler’s Letter to the Editor in the New York Times: Rising Rates of Anxiety in College Students

Posted on 30 Oct 2017
On Sunday, Dr. Scheffler’s letter to the editor was published in the New York Times Magazine. The letter was a response to the article “The Kids Who Can’t: Why Are More American Teenagers Than Ever Suffering From Severe Anxiety?”, and discusses the skyrocketing rates on Anxiety Disorder on college campuses. As rates of anxiety disorder have nearly doubled for 18-20 year old college students between 2008-2015, the letter calls for universities to improve the environments they are creating for their students. Dr. Scheffler is currently the Principle Investigator for the study “Freaked out Millennials: The Causes and Consequences of Anxiety Disorder”, funded by the Berkeley Institute for the Future of Young Americans. You can read the full letter here and can learn more about the “Freaked Out Millennials” study here.

Insurer Market Power Lowers Hospital and Physician Payment Rates: Scheffler and Arnold’s Research featured in Open Minds

Posted on 02 Oct 2017
Dr. Scheffler and Arnold’s new research on health care market concentration was featured in Open Minds this week, which provides daily market intelligence and industry analysis for executives in behavioral health, mental health, and social services. The Open Minds piece, titled “Insurer Market Power Lowers Hospital & Physician Payment Rates”, discusses Scheffler and Arnold’s findings as reported in their Health Affairs article “Insurer Market Power Lowers Prices In Numerous Concentrated Provider Markets”, which found that insurers have the bargaining power to reduce provider prices in highly concentrated provider markets. In particular, hospital admission prices and cardiologist, radiologist, and hematologist/oncologist visit prices were all lower. You can access the abstract of the Open Minds article here; full text access is limited to subscribers.