Recent News

Dr. Scheffler’s Op-Ed on Front Page of New York Times Website: “States Can Contain Health Care Costs. Here’s How”

Posted on 02 May 2016
An op-ed by Petris Center Director Dr. Richard Scheffler and Dr. Sherry Glied, Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York University, was featured on the front page of the New York Times website today (May 2nd, 2016). Entitled “States Can Contain Health Care Costs. Here’s How,” the op-ed discusses the increasing concentrated health insurance market in the wake of the Affordable Health Care Act, and the need for competition and regulation to work together to benefit consumers. The full article can be read on the New York Times website here.

Dr. Fulton Provides Testimony on Proposed Anthem Inc. – Cigna Corp. Merger

Posted on 05 Apr 2016
On March 29th, Dr. Fulton provided testimony to the California Department of Insurance on the proposed Anthem Inc. – Cigna Corp. merger, discussing the potential impact of a merger on the market, including on health insurance premiums. Dr. Fulton’s testimony was covered by California HealthLine, who wrote: Brent Fulton, a professor of health economics and policy at UC Berkeley, presented an analysis on the Anthem and Cigna merger at the request of the Department of Insurance. Theoretically, Fulton said, consolidation could lead to stronger negotiating leverage with hospitals, physician organizations and other providers of health care services that now hold market power, resulting in lower costs for health insurance customers. “However, we are not aware of any peer-reviewed studies that have found that higher insurer market concentration has led to lower health insurance premiums,” Fulton said. The full California HealthLine article can be read here. The full video of the he

Dr. Scheffler and Dr. Fulton Testify on the Potential Health Net-Centene Merger

Posted on 27 Feb 2016
In January, Dr. Scheffler and Dr. Fulton testified in Sacremento in front of the California Department of Insurance at the hearing on the proposed Health Net-Centene merger. Drs. Scheffler and Fulton discussed the potential impact of the merger on market competition. The full video of the testimony can be viewed here.

Petris Center Hosting Visiting Scholar Dr. Robert Berenson

Posted on 19 Feb 2016
The Petris Center is hosting visiting scholar Dr. Robert Berenson from the Urban Institute for several months in Spring 2016. Dr. Berenson has worked at the Urban Institute as a fellow since 2003, where he conducts research and provides policy analysis primarily on health care delivery issues, particularly related to Medicare payment policy, pricing power in commercial insurance markets, and new forms of health delivery based on reinvigorated primary care practices. In 2012, Berenson completed a three-year term on the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, the last two years as vice chair. From 1998 to 2000, he was in charge of Medicare payment policy and private health plan contracting in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Previously, he served as an assistant director of the White House Domestic Policy Staff under President Carter. Berenson is a board-certified internist who practiced for 20 years, the last 12 years in a Washington, DC, group practice. He is the coauthor

Richard Scheffler Honored at Berkeley Public Library Foundation’s 14th Annual Authors Dinner

Posted on 15 Feb 2016
Petris Center Director Richard Scheffler was honored at the Berkeley Public Library Foundation’s 14th Annual Authors Dinner on February 6th, a celebration of the Bay Area’s literary community. Dr. Scheffler was honored alongside Dr. Stephen Hinshaw for their work on the book The ADHD Explosion: Myths, Medication, Money, and Today’s Push for Performance which blends clinical wisdom, current science, medical and school policy, and global trends to debunk myths and set the record straight about ADHD. From the Berkeley Public Library Foundation website: Learn more about the Authors Dinner here and see the full list of the 2016 honored authors, including the bio of Dr. Scheffler and Dr. Hinshaw, here.

New York Times: Is the Drive for Success Making Our Children Sick?

Posted on 24 Jan 2016
Petris Center Director Dr. Richard Scheffler was quoted in the New York Times article “Is the Drive for Success Making Our Children Sick?” published on January 2nd. On the topic of academic pressure and its connections to depression, anxiety, and physical symptoms, including headaches and ulcers, increasingly seen in adolescents, Dr. Scheffler was quoted, saying, “Many of the health effects are apparent now, but many more will echo through the lives of our children. We will all pay the cost of treating them and suffer the loss of their productive contributions.” The full article can be read here.

Just Released: Global Health Policy and Economics Handbook edited by Dr. Scheffler

Posted on 12 Jan 2016
Professor Scheffler is the editor of a just released 3-volume Global Health Policy and Economics Handbook through World Scientific Publishing. The official launch was January 3, 2016 at the American Economics Association meeting in San Francisco. To learn more about the handbook, the topics it covers, and the authors, please visit here.

Webinar: Is Rate Review the Answer to Lower Health Insurance Premiums?

Posted on 12 Jan 2016
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Changes in Health Care Financing and Organization (HCFO) initiative hosted a webinar on November 17th, 2015 entitled “Is Rate Review the Answer to Lower Health Insurance Premiums?” The webinar discussed the impact of state-level rate review regulations on health insurance premiums. The Petris Center’s Richard Scheffler and Brent Fulton, and Ann Hollingshead, University of California, Berkeley; and Pinar Karaca-Mandic, University of Minnesota, discussed their recent HCFO-funded work on this first evaluation of state rate review authority in the individual market during the years immediately after the enactment of the ACA, 2010-13, with an emphasis on whether rate regulation, coupled with loss ratio requirements, moderates health insurance premium increases. Following their presentation, discussants Sabrina Corlette from the Center on Health Insurance Reforms (CHIR) at Georgetown University’s Health Policy Institute and Kevin Beagan

New Petris Center Report: State Actions to Promote and Restrain Commercial Accountable Care Organizations

Posted on 27 Oct 2015
“Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), originally developed as part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), are growing—and serve both public and private sector payers. They have the potential to improve health care quality and patient outcomes while achieving cost savings. However, they may also present risks—including those related to solvency, consumer protection, and anti-competitive pricing—to providers, patients, and payers. How can state policymakers respond to their development? What is in the public interest? What are the lessons from commercial health insurance and managed care regulatory frameworks? State policymakers are looking for evidence and experience to help them answer these and other questions.” A just released report from the Petris Center, “State Actions to Promote and Restrain Commercial Accountable Care Organizations,” published through the Milbank Memorial Fund, uses case studies to outline tools that state governments can use to promote the