Recent News

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

Looking Behind and Ahead to a 200 Year Future: An Interview with Richard Scheffler, Founder of the Ph.D. program in Health Policy

Posted on 22 Oct 2015
Petris Center Director Dr. Richard Scheffler was recently interviewed by Hector Rodriguez, Current Chair of the Ph.D. program in Health Policy. In the interview, Dr. Scheffler discusses his decision to found the the Health Services and Policy Analysis PhD program at the UC Berkeley School of Public Health in 1988 and serve as the founding chair of the program for its first decade, developments in the field of health policy, and the future of the program. For the full interview, visit the Berkeley Health Policy website here.

University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration: New Studies Assess Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) after the Passage of the Affordable Care Act

Posted on 06 Aug 2015
The University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration issued an announcement on the release of the “Assessing Accountable Care Organizations: Cost, Quality, and Market Power” special issue of the Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law (volume 40, issue 4). The special issue is “an in-depth look at accountable care organizations (ACOs): networks of hospitals, physicians, or other health care providers that share financial and medical responsibility for the coordinated care of a patient.” The special issue was co-edited by Colleen M. Grogan, editor of JHPPL, Professor; Co-Chair, Center for Health Administration Studies; Faculty Chair, Graduate Program in Health Administration and Policy; Editor, Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law at the University of Chicago and by Richard M. Scheffler, Director of the Petris Center, with much of the content supported through the Nicholas C. Petris Center, with funding from the California Attorney General’s offic

Europa Press: A US Expert Believes that Spain needs to Reform the Health System to Cope with Aging

Posted on 06 Aug 2015
  “Professor of Health Economics and Public Policy at the University of California-Berkeley (USA), Richard Scheffler, said that Spain needs to reform its health system towards an integral and coordinated system to cope with the aging of the population and in that way reduce health spending… ‘Between 1996 and 2010, despite the crisis, the health spending per capita increased at an annual rate of 3.5 percent. From 2014, the forecasting managed by the World Bank is that this growth will stabilize at 0.5 percent annually. Nevertheless, according to this institution, Spain will not be able to allocate more resources to the health budget. This is an important problem when thinking about health policy. Spain has to be more effective and efficient in their health system,’ he stressed.” Translated from the original article. The full text of the original article (in spanish) can be accessed here.

Health Affairs: States With Stronger Health Insurance Rate Review Authority Experienced Lower Premiums In The Individual Market In 2010–13

Posted on 03 Aug 2015
Press Release: “A new study published today [August 3, 2015] found state-level prior approval authority over individual market health insurance rates were in effect from 2010 to 2013 was associated a 10 percentage point lower rate of increase in premiums.The research was published in the August issue of Health Affairs, and was conducted at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health in collaboration with the University of California, Berkeley School of Public Health.” “Study authors collected rate review authority and anticipated loss ratio requirements from each state and the District of Columbia by examining statutes, regulations, and bulletins and distributed a questionnaire to each state and the District of Columbia. ‘Our findings suggest that rate review by states with prior approval authority may be a viable option for moderating the growth in health insurance premiums,’ said Richard Scheffler, Ph.D., principal investigator and distinguished

Review of Industrial Organizations: Market Power, Transactions Costs, and the Entry of Accountable Care Organizations in Health Care

Posted on 03 Aug 2015
  An article by Petris Center Director Richard M. Scheffler and Christopher Whaley, H. E. Frech III, Benjamin R. Handel, Liora Bowers, and Carol J. Simon was published in the Review of Industrial Organizations journal on July 15, 2015. Abstract “ACOs were promoted in the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) to incentivize integrated care and cost control. Because they involve vertical and horizontal collaboration, ACOs also have the potential to harm competition. In this paper, we analyze ACO entry and formation patterns with the use of a unique, proprietary database that includes public (Medicare) and private ACOs. We estimate an empirical model that explains county-level ACO entry as a function of: physician, hospital, and insurance market structure; demographics; and other economic and regulatory factors. We find that physician concentration by organization has little effect. In contrast, physician concentration by geographic site—which is a new measure o

New Studies Assess Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) after the Passage of the Affordable Care Act

Posted on 03 Aug 2015
“‘Accessing Accountable Care Organizations: Cost, Quality, and Market Power,’ a special issue of the Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law (volume 40, issue 4), is an in-depth look at accountable care organizations (ACOs): networks of hospitals, physicians or other health care providers that share financial and medical responsibility for the coordinated care of a patient. Now numbering over 700 throughout the United States, ACOs were rare prior to the passage of the Affordable Care Act. Their increased presence has sparked a debate about issues important to patients, providers, and taxpayers throughout the nation. ‘Integrated health delivery systems and accountable care organizations are becoming ubiquitous in our health care system,’ Richard Scheffler, special issue editor, states. ‘They potentially could bend the cost curve and improve the quality of care, but they also present a threat to the competitiveness of health care markets.'” Re