Jordan Wolf

F.T.C. Sues Anesthesia Group Backed by Private-Equity Firm

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has filed an antitrust lawsuit against a doctors’ group that operates anesthesia practices, accusing them of engaging in anticompetitive practices with the support of a private-equity firm. The suit targets U.S. Anesthesia Partners and Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe, a private-equity firm based in New York.

Read the full article here.

Comments of Professors of Law and Economics, Economists, and Health Policy Researchers on the Draft Merger Guidelines

By Thomas L. Greaney, Richard M. Scheffler, Katherine L. Gudiksen, Jaime S. King, Amy Y. Gu, Brent D. Fulton, Paul B. Ginsburg, and Daniel R. Arnold | Link to Full Comment

The Draft Merger Guidelines (DMGs) constitute a major step forward in providing economically sound guidance to practitioners and courts for evaluating the potential competitive impact of mergers and acquisitions. These comments are offered by a group of law professors, economists, and policy experts who have devoted most of their professional careers to issues concerning market and regulatory issues involving health care providers and payors. The comment focus on several proposed changes that are of particular importance to improving oversight of consolidation in the health care sector.

California can Lead the Nation with a Public Option for Health Insurance.

Richard Scheffler and Stephen Shortell argue that California is in the midst of a healthcare affordability crisis, with insurance costs growing faster than wages, particularly affecting the Black and Latino populations. They propose the introduction of a public option called “Golden Choice” in California, which would be based on capitated medical groups and could significantly reduce health insurance premiums.

Read the full article here.

KNX Los Angeles Radio Interview: Private Equity Firms taking over Medical Practices

KNX In Depth’s Charles Feldman and Rob Archer discuss a new study that finds private equity firms are gobbling up medical practices across the country, even owning more than half of all specialists in certain markets. Richard Scheffler is the study lead author and Distinguished Professor of Health Economics and Public Policy at UC Berkeley.

Listen to the full interview here.

New Report by AAI, UC Berkeley and Equitable Growth Calls Attention to Private Equity’s Voracious Acquisition of Physician Practices

The American Antitrust Institute (AAI), in collaboration with the University of California at Berkeley (UCB) Petris Center on Health Care Markets and Consumer Welfare, and the Washington Center for Equitable Growth (Equitable Growth), announced the release of a new report on private equity ownership in healthcare.

Lead author on the report, Professor Richard Scheffler, Distinguished Professor of Health Economics and Public Policy, and Director of the Petris Center at UCB, noted “This report provides convincing evidence that incentives to put profits before patients have grown stronger with an increase in private equity ownership of physician practices. This will fundamentally change the way medicine is practiced.”

Read the full American Antitrust Institute report here.

Listen to the Personal Equity Report Cited in House Oversight Committee Hearing here.

The Better Care Plan: a blueprint for improving America’s healthcare system

By Stephen M Shortell, John S Toussaint, George C Halvorson, Jon M Kingsdale, Richard M Scheffler, Allyson Y Schwartz, Peter A Wadsworth, Gail Wilensky | Published June 20, 2023 in Health Affairs Scholar | Link to Full Article

The United States falls far short of its potential for delivering care that is effective, efficient, safe, timely, patient-centered, and equitable. We put forward the Better Care Plan, an overarching blueprint to address the flaws in our current system. The plan calls for continuously improving care, moving all payers to risk-adjusted prospective payment, and creating national entities for collecting, analyzing, and reporting patient safety and quality-of-care outcomes data. A number of recommendations are made to achieve these goals.

UC Berkeley Public Health Researchers Presented “Golden Choice: A Proposed Public Option Plan to Increase Competition and Lower Health Insurance Premiums” In the State Capitol

Spearheaded by Richard Scheffler, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, and Stephen Shortell, Distinguished Professor Emeritus and Dean Emeritus, the research team carried out their vision of going from pen to policy. The team shared findings about a potential public option plan for the state with state legislators, stakeholders, and press. This plan would lower healthcare costs while maintaining quality for Californians. With a prominent discussion panel moderated by the Deputy Cabinet Secretary and featuring various healthcare pioneers, insightful questions were answered, swaying doubts were quelled, and productive ideas were exchanged.

Read the full Golden Choice report here.

Read the Commonwealth Brief here.

Read the JAMA Health Forum article here.