Recent Research in the Media

  • Richard Scheffler is chosen as the 2024 Emeritus of the Year

    Richard Scheffler has been selected to receive the 2024 Emeritus of the Year award by UC Berkeley’s Emeriti Association. This Fall, the Emeriti Association will be hosting an Awards Ceremony and Reception on the UC Berkeley Women’s Faculty Club Patio celebrate Richard Scheffler, friends, and colleagues.

  • Nicholas C. Petris Center’s 25th Anniversary Celebration

    On April 24th, 2024, the Petris Center celebrated its 25th anniversary celebration at UC Berkeley’s Faculty Club with dinner, speeches, and a toast to Richard Scheffler, the founder of the Nicolas C. Petris Center. The attendees of the anniversary dinner celebrated the many accomplishments of the Petris Center and enjoyed a recorded video from California’s Attorney General, Rob Bonta, who recognized and honored the center’s research.

    View California’s Attorney General, Rob Bonta’s, speech, the anniversary celebration program, and more pictures from the event.

  • Private Equity Impacts On Health Care: Federal and State Legislative and Regulatory Actions, Will It Matter?

    Richard Scheffler co-authors an opinion piece on the Milbank Quarterly about the role of private equity in health care. The piece discusses recent policy developments and their potential impacts on this growing form of commercial activity in health care markets.

    View the Milbank Quarterly piece here.

  • STAT article considers what happens with cross-market hospital mergers

    In a recent STAT article, published in April 2024, the implications of cross-market hospital mergers are discussed. Referencing the UC Berkeley Health Economists, Daniel Arnold, the article mentions that this is the third study that stands as a demonstration to cross-market hospital mergers causing price increases.

    View the STAT article and the PDF.

  • Modern Healthcare article leads the discussion on cross-market hospital merger oversight

    Modern Healthcare article discusses new research which shows that acquired out-of-market hospitals tend to increase prices. The study found both larger and smaller systems involved in cross-market mergers were associated with higher prices. The Federal Trade Commission and Justice Department have updated their guidelines to potentially be used to analyze cross-market hospital mergers.

    View the article on Modern Healthcare and the PDF.

Recent Publications

  • New evidence on the impacts of cross-market hospital mergers on commercial prices and measures of quality

    By Daniel R. Arnold, Jaime S. King, Brent D. Fulton, Alexandra D. Montague, Katherine L. Gudiksen, Thomas L. Greaney, Richard M. Scheffler| Published in Health Services Research in April 2024 | Link to full report.

    “As hospital systems have expanded, they’ve extended into regions where they previously had no presence. A recent study found 55% of the 1500 hospitals targeted for a merger or acquisition from 2009 to 2019 operated in a commuting zone that the acquirer did not previously operate in. The price and quality effects of these “cross-market” hospital mergers and acquisitions (M&A) are the focus of this paper.”

    What this study adds: 

    • Serial acquirers are significant contributors to estimated cross-market price effects.
    • We find no discernible impact of cross-market mergers on mortality and readmission rates for heart failure, heart attacks and pneumonia.
    • Overall, this study provides further evidence that cross-market hospital mergers lead to price increases and novel findings of no quality effect and the impact of serial acquirers on the price effect. More antitrust scrutiny of these mergers—particularly those of serial acquirers—appears prudent given the current state of highly concentrated hospital markets in the United States.

    Questions should be addressed to Daniel Arnold, danielarnold@berkeley.edu

  • Private Equity–Acquired Physician Practices And Market Penetration Increased Substantially, 2012–21

    By Ola Abdelhadi, Brent D. Fulton, Laura Alexander, Richard M. Scheffler | Published March 2024 in Health Affairs | Link to full report.

    “Private equity (PE) firms have been acquiring physician practices at an increasing rate, raising concerns about such firms’ penetration at the physician level into local markets and the impact on health care quality and prices. However, limited knowledge exists about the extent of PE firms’ control in local markets. By linking data on PE acquisitions to physician data and using full-time-equivalent physicians as the base of assessment, we estimated the local market share of each PE firm within ten physician specialties at the Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) level.”

Petris Director Joins the Better Healthcare Policy Group