Thought Leader, Patient Engagement

Scott D. Halpern, MD, PhD

Deputy Director
Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics, University of Pennsylvania


Scott Halpern is Associate Professor of Medicine, Epidemiology, and Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the Perelman School of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania, and a practicing critical care medicine doctor. He is the founding Director of the Fostering Improvement in End-of-Life Decision Science (FIELDS) program, which seeks to understand and improve upon the healthcare decisions made by seriously ill patients and their family members and clinicians. He is also the founding Director of Penn’s Critical Care Health Services Research group, which seeks to improve the equity and efficiency of care delivery for patients with acute and critical illnesses. Finally, Dr. Halpern is the Deputy Director of the Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics (CHIBE), where he develops behavioral economic interventions that motivate smoking cessation, research participation, and reductions in the use of low-value health care services. Dr. Halpern has received the United States’ most prestigious awards for young academics in bioethics (the Greenwall Foundation Faculty Scholar Award in 2008) and in health services research (AcademyHealth’s Alice S. Hersh New Investigator Award in 2011). In 2012, Dr. Halpern was one of 10 recipients of 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 elected member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation, a member of the Editorial Boards of the Annals of Internal Medicine and the American Journal of Bioethics, and from 2013–2015 he was an Anniversary Fellow at the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Halpern has authored more than 120 peer-reviewed articles and 50 editorials, reviews, and chapters. His research has been featured in every major media outlet, and he consults on scientific and ethical matters for several federal organizations.

Halpern02_clip_still: A/B Testing Health Behavior Interventions

Patient Engagement

A/B Testing Health Behavior

Health care can’t implement changes overnight like Silicon Valley, but we can still learn from their version of treatment and control.

Scott Halpern Panel Clip Still: Health Prevention Programs That Scale

Patient Engagement

If It’s Designed Well, They’ll Want It

Lessons learned from the field on the key components to designing scalable health prevention and behavior change programs.

Patient Engagement Panel Clip Video Still: Helping Patients Complete Advance Directives

Patient Engagement

Helping Patients Complete Advance Directives

The answer might lie in behavioral economics or marketing strategies.

Punam Keller and David Laibson Panel Clip: Why Are We Blind to Behavior Change Barriers?

Patient Engagement

Why Are We Blind to Behavior Change Barriers?

Simply giving people information is not enough. We must focus on prevention as much as treatment.

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