Feature in Media

Dr. Scheffler Discusses Antitrust and Provider Consolidation at CLA Webinar

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).

Petris Study on CARES Act Payments to California Hospitals Featured in The New York Times

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.

Read the full article here.

Read the full study here.

Petris COVID-19 Cost Study Featured in San Francisco Chronicle

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.

Read the full article here.

Read the study here.

Health Affairs Blog Publishes Comments from Thomas Greaney and Richard Scheffler on Proposed Vertical Merger Guidelines

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.

UC Berkeley Labor Center Blog Features Petris Center Report

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.

Petris Center Research Featured in The Economist

On November 21, 2019, The Economist published an article titled “Donald Trump wants hospitals to be more upfront about prices,” referenced a study conducted by Brent Fulton as part of the Petris Center. Fulton found that 90% of American hospital markets were highly concentrated. Additionally, the percent of highly concentrated primary-care physician markets has nearly doubled since 2010, growing from 20% to over 40% in just eight years. 

To read the full article, click here

To read the full report, click here

Petris Center study cited in New York Times Article

On Thursday, October 3rd, a Petris Center report showing increasing hospital and physician consolidation was included in an article centered on the Sutter Health trial in California. Professor Scheffler was quoted, saying that physician group acquisitions largely go unnoticed despite contributed to an already growing hospital consolidation and market power in the state.

To read the full article, click here.

California Healthline quotes Professor Scheffler in recent article

On September 9th, Professor Scheffler was quoted in an article in California Healthline surrounding the upcoming Sutter Health trial on September 23rd. Sutter has been accused of infringing on antitrust laws in the state by decreasing competition and ultimately overcharging patients. Scheffler was quoted saying, “One of the reasons we have such a big problem [with consolidation] is that they’ve done very little. Enforcement has been very weak.”

To read the full article, click here.

Professor Scheffler quoted in LA Times Article focused on antitrust enforcement

On September 9th, the Los Angeles Times published an article discussing the high price tag of healthcare in Northern California in light of the ongoing Sutter Health trial. Professor Scheffler was commented on the lack of adequate enforcement of dominant hospital systems in the state. The piece also highlights increasing hospital consolidation in the state as well as anticompetitive contract provisions.


To read the full piece, click here.

Professor Scheffler quoted in Sacramento Bee

On July 23, 2019, Professor Scheffler was quoted in the Sacramento Bee in a piece titled “California’s health care spending is actually hurting our health, researchers say.” The articles describes the high cost of care in the state that restricts access to quality care following the publication of a Lown Institute report titled “California’s health paradox: Too much health care spending may lead to poor community health.” Scheffler points to capitation as a possible solution to increasing health prices rather than global budgeting.

To read the full article, click here.