McGeorge School of Law

Ethical Pricing Decisions in Health Care

University of the McGeorge School of Law Presented Ethical Pricing Decisions in Health Care — Sept. 25, 2015

Sponsored by a Grant from The Sierra Health Foundation

The Affordable Care Act was focused primarily upon expanding access to health care by extending insurance coverage to the uninsured. That coverage was made more affordable by creating more competitive insurance markets and by significantly expanding government subsidies. However, the Act did little to address the underlying costs of health care. This symposium shined a spotlight on how pricing decisions are made in the healthcare industry, the changing market conditions that influence pricing decisions, and whether those decisions can be made more equitably and ethically. The focus was particularly upon pricing decisions for hospital services and for pharmaceuticals.

Video of the Conference


This program was approved for Minimum Continuing Legal Education credit by the State Bar of California in the amount of 4.25 hours. McGeorge School of Law certifies that this activity conforms to the standards for approved educational activities prescribed by the rules and regulations of The State Bar of California governing minimum continuing legal education.


Download Printable Program (PDF)

Welcome from the Host
Maria Pallavicini, Provost, University of the Pacific

Introduction from Program Moderator
Emily Whelan Parento, Associate Professor of Law and Gordon D. Schaber Health Law Scholar, University of the McGeorge School of Law

Legal and Ethical Principles Regarding Pricing Decisions
8:45 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.
(Moderator: Professor Emily Whelan Parento)

  • "Legal Restrictions on Pricing Decisions": Ann Marie Marciarille, Associate Professor of Law, University of Missouri-Kansas City
  • "When It Comes to Health Care, Should Price Matter?": Steven Tharratt, M.D., Chief Medical Executive, California Prison Health Care Services
  • "Health Care Pricing Decisions from an Insurance Perspective": Matt Graham, Director, Leavitt Partners

Pricing Decisions for Hospital Services
10:45 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.
(Moderator: Professor Melissa Brown, McGeorge School of Law)

  • "Hospital and Provider Pricing - A View from CMS": David W. Sayen, Regional Administrator, San Francisco Regional Office, Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services
  • "Regulatory Options to Foster Market Competition": Robert Berenson, M.D., Urban Institute Fellow, Urban Institute
  • "Hospital Pricing Decisions: The Real Challenge of Keeping the Lights On": Anne McLeod, Senior Vice President, Health Policy & Innovation, California Hospital Association

Pricing Decisions for Pharmaceuticals
1:30 p.m.- 3:00 p.m.
(Moderator: Eric Boyce, Pharm.D., Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, University of the Pacific)

  • "Cost- and Value-Based Rationales for Drug Prices":Gregg H. Alton, Executive Vice-President, Corporate & Medical Affairs, Gilead Sciences, Inc.
  • "Sustainable Pricing for Pharmaceuticals": Charles Bacchi or his nominee, President & CEO, California Association of Health Plans
  • "Government's Role as Market Participant and Regulator": Harry Hendrix, Chief, Pharmacy Section, California Department of Health Care Services

Conference Materials