On Thursday, September 10, Professor Richard Scheffler served on an online panel discussing the topic: Antitrust Implications of Healthcare Provider Consolidation. Hosted by the California Lawyers Association, the webinar discussed antitrust issues that result from vertical integration, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on antitrust and economic analysis, and the ongoing Sutter case. The two other panelists were Laura Alexander (VP of Policy at the American Antitrust Institute) and Michelle Lowery (Partner at McDermott Will & Emery).
Healthy California for All Commission released a report, “An Environmental Analysis of Health Care Delivery, Coverage, and Financing in California” for California Governor Gavin Newsom, Senator Richard Pan, and California State Assemblymember Jim Wood. It examines the strengths and limitations of California’s current health care system, outlines potential designs to transition to unified financing, and describes health coverage expansion options.
In its analysis of provider consolidation, The Petris Center’s study “The Sky’s the Limit” is cited for trends of hospital market concentration. “A New Vision for California’s Healthcare system” is cited in discussing cost containment strategies, and “California Dreamin’: Integrating Health Care, Containing Costs, and Financing Universal” explores the role of integrated plans.
This research report titled “Preventing Anticompetitive Contracting Practices in Healthcare Markets” analyzes five specific clauses in healthcare contracts that have the potential for anticompetitive harm. In understanding the theory and empirics of pro- and anti-competitive effects in specific healthcare markets, we reviewed legal and economic literature, examined antitrust enforcement of contract terms, and surveyed all 50 states of proposed and enacted legislation restricting the use of these contract clauses. This report is the latest product from a joint project with The Petris Center and The Source on Healthcare Price and Competition supported by Arnold Ventures.
This project leverages the latest and most comprehensive data on state laws, healthcare markets, and healthcare prices in provider and insurer markets in the United States in the last ten years and presents evidence-based information and analyses on the most effective strategies for states to address rapidly consolidating healthcare markets. In the first published report in the series, “Preventing Anticompetitive Healthcare Consolidation: Lessons from Five States” identifies best practices that state policymakers should consider to enhance oversight of healthcare consolidation in their own state.
The Petris Center study, “The Distribution of Provider Relief Payments Among California Health Systems” was cited in The New York Times on July 10, 2020. The analysis estimated that a 24% reduction in net patient revenue was offset by direct CARES Act grants and varied widely by hospital. Hospitals with a larger share of net patient revenue from private insurers and hospitals residing in highly concentrated hospital markets received larger payments per adjusted patient day.
On June 25, 2020, a Petris Center study titled “What are the Health Care Costs of COVID-19 in California?: State and County Estimates” was cited in the San Francisco Chronicle. The study estimates the total cost of COVID-19 at a 5% prevalence in the state at $2.4 billion. The article focuses on the high costs in the Bay Area due to higher commercial prices in this part of the state.
On June 25, 2020, the Petris Center released a study titled, “What are the Health Care Costs of COVID-19 in California?: State and County Estimates” by Richard M. Scheffler, Daniel R. Arnold, Brent D. Fulton, Alexandra Peltz, Taylor L. Wang, and John Swartzberg. The report estimates the cost of COVID-19 for a 5% prevalence in the state at $2.4 billion. The authors assessed county level costs and adjusted for hospitalization rates by age group, payor mix (Commercial, Medicare, Medi-Cal, uninsured), and a county hospital cost index. The report also includes cost estimates for 15%, 30%, and 60% prevalence of the disease in the appendix.
In the newly released research report “Preventing Anticompetitive Healthcare Consolidation: Lessons from Five States,” The Source on Healthcare Price and Competition identifies best practices that state policymakers should consider to enhance oversight of healthcare consolidation in their own state. This report is part of a joint project with the Petris Center supported by Arnold Ventures.
This research report is the latest installment in a collaborative research series that leverages the latest and most comprehensive data on state laws, healthcare markets, and healthcare prices in provider and insurer markets in the United States in the last ten years and presents evidence-based information and analyses on the most effective strategies for states to address rapidly consolidating healthcare markets. Additional research findings and analyses are published on the “Market Consolidation” key issue page on The Source’s website.
On April 17, 2020, Health Affairs Blog published “The Proposed Vertical Merger Guidelines And Health Care: Little Guidance And Dubious Economics,” a piece written by Thomas Greaney, JD,a visiting professor of law at UC Hastings College of Law in San Francisco and distinguished senior fellow with the UC Hastings/UCSF Consortium on Law, Science and Health Policy, and Richard Scheffler, PhD. The blog post details the lack of scrutiny placed on hospital acquisitions of physician organizations, despite the increasing rate this practice. Greaney and Scheffler assess the newly proposed Vertical Merger Guidelines created by the FTC, including where they may fall short and how they could be improved.
To read a pdf version of the Health Affairs Blog, click here.
To read a web version of the Health Affairs Blog, click here.
As part of the Labor Center’s blog series “Rising Health Care Costs in California: A Worker Issue,” Petris Center research was spotlighted in the eight blog post titled, “High Health Care Prices are the Primary Driver of California Workers’ Health Care Cost Problems.” The blog post referred to “The Sky’s the Limit: Health Care Prices and Market Consolidation in California,” a Petris Center study from 2019 that found increasing inpatient and outpatient prices in the state that have grown steadily from 2013 to 2017. Additionally, the report found higher prices in Northern California, reflecting the growing consolidation in Northern California.
On January 27, the first Healthy California for All Commission meeting took place. Professor Scheffler attended the meeting in Sacramento. To view the agenda and a recording of the meeting, click here.