By Robin Feldman, Brent D. Fulton, James R. Godwin, and Richard M. Scheffler | Published May 6, 2022 in the Journal of Health Politics, Policy, and Law | Link to Full Article
Dramatic increases in pharmaceutical merger and acquisition activity since 2010 suggest we are currently in the midst of a third wave of industry consolidation. Reviewing 168 economic, legal, medical, industry, and government sources, we examine the effects of consolidation on competition and innovation and explore how industry attributes complicate M&A regulation in a pharmaceutical context.
“‘This is a very important study and the data it presents is going to be hugely important in the healthcare debate about competition among hospitals and price transparency,’ said Richard Scheffler, a health economics and policy professor at the University of California, Berkeley.”
Read the full article here.
By Daniel S. Arnold, Katherine L. Gudiksen, Jaime S. King, Brent D. Fulton, and Richard M. Scheffler | Published May 11, 2022 in The Milbank Quarterly | Link to Full Article
Decades of consolidation in both health care provider and insurer markets has resulted in highly consolidated health care markets throughout the United States, leading to higher prices for patients and employers. In some instances, dominant health insurers have used their market power to demand clauses in contractual agreements that drive up the cost of health care in anticompetitive ways. As a result, antitrust enforcers and policymakers have begun scrutinizing contracting practices between health insurers and providers as one way to promote competition in consolidated markets.Most-favored-nation (MFN) clauses (sometimes called “pricing parity” or “price protection” clauses) were some of the first provisions challenged in court and prohibited by state laws, but the economic impact of these laws remains unknown. This study estimated the effect that laws banning MFN clauses in health insurance contracts have had on hospital prices.
Listen to Richard Scheffler’s remarks on healthcare spending in California during a meeting of the Healthy California For All here (43:03-49:13).
Congratulations to Claire Boone and Maria Dieci for co-receiving this year’s Richard Scheffler Health Economics Award for the best UC Berkeley PhD Dissertation(s) in the field of health economics!
Claire’s research interests center on health economics, health policy, and behavioral economics. She will be taking on a postdoctoral position at the University of Chicago next year. Read more about Claire here.
Maria’s research interests focus on global health and development economics. She will be taking on an Assistant Professor position next year in the Department of Health Policy & Management at Emory University. Read more about Maria here.
U.S. healthcare is increasingly pivoting towards for-profit management.
“‘There’s a reason private equity firms have invested in companies staffing hospital emergency departments,’ said Richard M. Scheffler, a professor of health economics and public policy at the University of California, Berkeley.
‘The money in the hospital is in the ER,’ he said. ‘It is the biggest net generator and a huge profit center for almost all hospitals.’ The problem, he said, is that ‘ER doctors are being told how to practice medicine’ by financial managers.”
Read more here.
The Petris Center recently received a grant from The Commonwealth Fund to study the feasibility of implementing public options at the state level.
Richard Scheffler was one of three guests invited to speak on KQED’s January 31 podcast. Entitled “How a Surge in Private Equity is Transforming Healthcare,” Dr. Scheffler’s work on private equity has proven far from irrelevant. Listen here.
Harry Snyder (UC Berkeley School of Public Health) advocates for a single-payer system, drawing from Dr. Scheffler’s piece regarding health equity. Read the CalMatters commentary here.
California’s ban on the corporate practice of medicine is tested with a lawsuit against Envision Healthcare. Dr. Richard Scheffler calls it a “landmark case” with the first real pushback. Read more here.