Crystal Haryanto

Richard Scheffler Quoted in Modern Healthcare Article on the Federal Trade Commission

“‘While the paper provides solid evidence that COPAs can raise prices, lower the quality of care, and create access problems, the FTC can’t do much more than recommend that states stop using them,’ said Richard Scheffler, a health economist and policy professor at the University of California, Berkeley.”

Read the full article here.

Unified Financing of Health Care in California: The Road Ahead

By William Hsiao, Richard M. Scheffler | Published August 11, 2022 in Health Affairs Forefront | Link to Full Article

The inequitable, ineffective, and wasteful health care system in the US has been extensively analyzed and documented. In the last presidential election cycle, Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT) proposed a single-payer system, Medicare for All, to solve our health care system deficiencies. He aroused wide public support for it. In early 2022, Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) led 120 congresspersons to introduce the Medicar for All Act of 2022 in the House (H.R. 1976). However, the passage of any federal single-payer bill seems dim because of the strong opposition of powerful vested interest groups and lack of a political majority. Hence, it’s more likely that states may take major initiatives in the intermediate future. What can states do?

Challenges with Defining Pharmaceutical Markets and Potential Remedies to Screen for Industry Consolidation

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.

Do State Bans of Most-Favored-Nation Contract Clauses Restrain Price Growth? Evidence From Hospital Prices

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.

Richard Scheffler Health Economics Award Recipients 2022

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.

Richard Scheffler Quoted in NBC News on For-Profit Healthcare Firms

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.