Scott D. Halpern

faculty photo
Professor of Medicine
Department: Medicine

Contact information
301 Blockley Hall
423 Guardian Drive
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6021
Office: 215-898-1462
Graduate Group Affiliations
B.S. (Psychology and Economics)
Duke University, 1995.
M.S.C.E. (Epidemiology)
University of Pennsylvania, 2001.
Ph.D. (Epidemiology)
University of Pennsylvania, 2002.
M.Be (Bioethics)
University of Pennsylvania, 2002.
M.D. (Medicine)
University of Pennsylvania, 2003.
American Board of Internal Medicine - Pulmonary Diseases, 2008.
American Board of Internal Medicine - Critical Care, 2009.
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Description of Bioethics Expertise

Scott D. Halpern, M.D., Ph.D. is Associate Professor (with Tenure) of Medicine, Epidemiology, and Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the Perelman School of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania. He is the founding Director of the Fostering Improvement in End-of-Life Decision Science (FIELDS) program, founding Director of the Critical Care Health Services Research (CC HSR) group, Deputy Director of the Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economic (CHIBE), and a practicing critical care medicine doctor. The FIELDS program includes scholars from multiple health-related disciplines who are united by the belief that untoward influences on how patients, family members, and providers make choices contribute to the high intensity of care that many patients receive near the ends of their lives. The CC HSR group examines questions related to the allocation of ICU beds and services and transplantable organs, and how these allocation paradigms could be made more efficient and equitable. Finally, the CHIBE develops behavioral economic interventions that reduce the unhealthy behaviors (e.g., smoking, overeating, and medication non-adherence) that account for the majority of preventable morbidity and mortality in the developed world, without unduly constraining people’s autonomous choice.

Dr. Halpern’s research is currently supported by the National Institutes of Health, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Greenwall Foundation, and the American Heart Association. He has received the United States’ most prestigious awards for young academics in two different disciplines: the Greenwall Foundation Faculty Scholar Award (2008) in bioethics, and AcademyHealth’s Alice S. Hersh New Investigator Award (2011) in health services research. In 2012, Dr. Halpern was 1 of 10 people to receive the Young Leader Award as part of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s 40th Anniversary, recognizing people aged 40 or under who offer “great promise for leading the way to improved health and health care for all Americans.” He is an Anniversary Fellow at the Institute of Medicine, an elected member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation, and a member of the Editorial Boards of the Annals of Internal Medicine and the American Journal of Bioethics. Dr. Halpern has authored more than 100 peer-reviewed articles, and roughly 50 editorials, reviews, and chapters. His research has been featured in every major American media outlet, and he has consulted on ethical and scientific matters for the NIH, CDC, UNOS, The World Bank, and two Advisory Committees to the U.S. Secretary for Health and Human Services.

Selected Publications

Halpern SD, Harhay MO, Saulsgiver KA, Brophy C, Troxel A, Volpp KG: A pragmatic trial of e-cigarettes, incentives, and drugs for smoking cessation. New England Journal of Medicine 378(24): 2302-2310, June 2018.

Courtright, KR, Cassell JB, Halpern, SD: A Research Agenda for High-Value Palliative Care. Annals of Internal Medicine 168(1): 71-72, January 2018.

Detsky ME, Harhay MO, Bayard DF, Delman AM, Buehler AE, Kent SA, Ciuffetelli IV, Cooney E, Gabler NB, Ratcliffe SJ, Mikkelsen ME, Halpern SD : Discriminative accuracy of physician and nurse predictions of survival and functional outcomes 6 months after ICU admission. JAMA 317(2): 2187-2195, June 2017.

Rolnick, JA; Asch, DA; Halpern, SD: Delegalizing advance directives to promote advance care planning. New England Journal of Medicine 376(22): 2105-2107, June 2017.

Rubin Emily B, Buehler Anna E, Halpern Scott D: States Worse Than Death Among Hospitalized Patients With Serious Illnesses. JAMA internal medicine 176(10): 1557-1559, Oct 2016.

Halpern Scott D: Toward Evidence-Based End-of-Life Care. The New England journal of medicine 373(21): 2001-3, Nov 2015.

Halpern Scott D, French Benjamin, Small Dylan S, Saulsgiver Kathryn, Harhay Michael O, Audrain-McGovern Janet, Loewenstein George, Brennan Troyen A, Asch David A, Volpp Kevin G: Randomized trial of four financial-incentive programs for smoking cessation. The New England Journal of Medicine 372(22): 2108-17, May 2015.

Hart Joanna L, Harhay Michael O, Gabler Nicole B, Ratcliffe Sarah J, Quill Caroline M, Halpern Scott D: Variability Among US Intensive Care Units in Managing the Care of Patients Admitted With Preexisting Limits on Life-Sustaining Therapies. JAMA Internal Medicine 175(6): 1019-26, Jun 2015.

Auriemma CL, Nguyen CA, Bronheim R, Kent S, Nadigu S, Pardo D, Halpern SD. : Stability of end-of-life preferences: A systematic review of the evidence. JAMA Internal Medicine 174(7): 1085-1092, July 2014

Halpern SD, Shaked A, Hasz RD, Caplan AL: Informing candidates for solid-organ transplantation about donor risk factors. New England Journal of Medicine 358(26): 2832-2837, Jun 2008.

Halpern SD, Ubel PA, Asch DA: Harnessing the power of default options to improve health care. New England Journal of Medicine 357(13): 1340-4, Sep 2007.

Halpern SD, Barnes B, Hasz RD, Abt PL: Estimated supply of organ donors after circulatory determination of death: a population-based cohort study. JAMA 304(23): 2592-4, Dec 2010.

Thabut G, Christie JD, Kremers WK, Fournier M, Halpern SD: Survival differences following lung transplantation among US transplant centers. JAMA 304(1): 53-60, Jul 2010.

Halpern SD, Raz A, Kohn R, Rey M, Asch DA, Reese P: Regulated payments for living kidney donation: an empirical assessment of the ethical concerns. Annals of Internal Medicine 152(6): 358-65, Mar 2010.

Halpern SD, Loewenstein G, Volpp KG, Cooney E, Vranas K, Quill CM, McKenzie MS, Harhay MO, Gabler NB, Silva T, Arnold R, Angus DC, Bryce C.: Default options in advance directives influence how patients set goals for end-of-life care. Health Affairs 32(2): 410-417, Feb 2013.

Kerlin MP, Small DS, Cooney E, Fuchs BD, Bellini LM, Mikkelsen ME, Schweickert WD, Bakhru RN, Gabler NB, Harhay MO, Hansen-Flaschen J, Halpern SD.: A randomized trial of nighttime physician staffing in an intensive care unit. New England Journal of Medicine 368(23): 2201-2209, Jun 2013.

Wagner J, Gabler NB, Ratcliffe SJ, Brown SES, Strom BL, Halpern SD.: Outcomes among patients discharged from busy intensive care units. Annals of Internal Medicine 159(7): 447-455, Oct 2013.

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Last updated: 08/17/2018
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