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Spring 2016 Newsletter

Dr. Scheffler, along with Dr. Sherry Giled of New York University, published an op-ed in the New York Times entitled "States Can Contain Health Care Costs. Here’s How." Featured on the front page on May 2nd, the op-ed discusses the increasing concentrated health insurance market in the wake of the Affordable Health Care Act, and the need for competition and regulation to work together to benefit consumers.
 
Dr. Scheffler and Dr. Glied, along with Dr. Brent Fulton and Daniel Arnold, have a newly published paper in Health Affairs entitled: “Differing Impacts Of Market Concentration On Affordable Care Act Marketplace Premiums.” Recent increases in market concentration among health plans, hospitals, and medical groups raise questions about what impact such mergers are having on costs to consumers. We examined the impact of market concentration on the growth of health insurance premiums between 2014 and 2015 in two Affordable Care Act state-based Marketplaces: Covered California and NY State of Health. We measured health plan, hospital, and medical group market concentration using the well-known Herfindahl-Hirschman Index (HHI) and used a multivariate regression model to relate these measures to premium growth. Both states exhibited a positive association between hospital concentration and premium growth and a positive (but not statistically significant) association between medical group concentration and premium growth. Our results for health plan concentration differed between the two states: It was positively associated with premium growth in New York but negatively associated with premium growth in California. The health plan concentration finding in Covered California may be the result of its selectively contracting with health plans.
 
The Petris Center has received a two year grant from the Commonwealth Fund to study the effects of market concentration on premiums. 

Dr. Scheffler Receives Research Gift of $350,000
Dr. Scheffler has received a research gift to conduct his research on health care markets and consumer welfare. 
 
New $250,000 Research Grant: Learning from Accountable Care Models in Spain 
The Petris Center has received a new two-year grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for the project "Learning from Accountable Health Models in Spain: Converging Narratives of Integrated Care, Chronic Care Management & Promoting the Culture of Health." Each of Spain's 17 regions manage their health care systems differently, with this diversity providing the opportunity for productive innovations in integration and chronic care management, alongside promoting an overall culture of health. In order to study these innovations, the Petris Center, along with Dr. Steve Shortell and Meg Kellogg, will be examining the health systems of Catalonia, the Basque Region, and the Madrid Region. 
In January, Dr. Scheffler and Dr. Fulton testified in Sacramento on the proposed Health Net-Centene Merger, discussing the potential impact of the merger on market competition. The video of the testimony can be viewed here.
On March 29th, Dr. Fulton provided testimony to the California Department of Insurance on the proposed Anthen-Cigna Corporation merger, discussing the potential impact of the merger on the market, including health insurance preiums. The video of the testimony can be viewed here, with Dr. Fulton's testimony beginning at the 1 hour, 56 minute mark.
In November, Dr. Scheffler, Dr. Fulton, and former Petris Center Graduate Researcher Ann Hollingshead participated in a webinar hosted by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Changes in Health Care Financing and Organization (HCFO) initiative on the topic "Is Rate Review the Answer to Lower Health Insurance Premiums?" Based on the findings from the rate review paper Dr. Scheffler and Dr. Fulton published, the webinar discussed the impact of state-level rate review regulations on health insurance premiums. The fully webinar can be viewed on Academy Health's website here.
The Petris Center is hosting visiting scholar Dr. Robert Berenson from the Urban Institute for several months this spring. Dr. Berenson has worked at the Urban Institute as a fellow since 2003, where he conducts research and provides policy analysis primarily on health care delivery issues. In 2012, Berenson completed a three-year term on the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission.
From 1998 to 2000, he was in charge of Medicare payment policy and private health plan contracting in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Previously, he served as an assistant director of the White House Domestic Policy Staff under President Carter. Dr. Berenson is also a board-certified internist who practiced for 20 years. You can learn more about Dr. Berenson's work here.
Dr. Scheffler was honored at the Berkeley Public Library Foundation’s 14th Annual Authors Dinner in February, a celebration of the Bay Area’s literary community. Dr. Scheffler was honored alongside Dr. Stephen Hinshaw for their work on the book The ADHD Explosion: Myths, Medication, Money, and Today’s Push for Performance. You can learn more about the 2016 honored authors here.
Dr. Scheffler is the editor of the just-released three volume Global Health Policy and Economics Handbook through World Scientific Publishing. The handbook covers major topics in global health economics and public policy and provides a timely, systematic review of the field, featuring academics and practitioners from over a dozen countries. 
Reviews of the Handbook
"Understanding global health economics and policy has never been so important. This remarkable three volume collection of chapters is sure to become the standard on health economics and health policy around the world" - David Cutler, Otto Eckstein Professor of Applied Economics, Harvard University

"This impressive opus is setting the tone in Global Health Economics for the years to come. A reference book with a guaranteed extended shelf life for both learners and doers.” - Agnes Soucat MD, Phd, Director Health Systems, Governance and Financing, World Health Organization

You can read more reviews of the Handbook and learn more about the topics it covers and its authors via a flyer here. The Handbook is available for purchase here

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