Jeffrey H. Silber

Jeffrey H. Silber
  • The Nancy Abramson Wolfson Professor of Health Services Research, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
  • Director, Center for Outcomes Research The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
  • Professor of Pediatrics and Anesthesiology & Critical Care The Perelman School of Medicine
  • Professor of Health Care Management The Wharton School The University of Pennsylvania

Contact Information

  • office Address:

    Center for Outcomes Research
    Roberts Building
    2716 South Street, Room 5123
    Philadelphia, PA 19146-2305

Research Interests: clinical economics, development of new health care outcome measures, health care disparities, measuring health care quality, medical decision making, outcomes of care in cancer, statistical methodogy in outcomes research including multivariate matching

Links: CV, Personal Website



Dr. Silber holds the Nancy Abramson Wolfson Endowed Chair in Health Services Research at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and is a Professor of Pediatrics and Anesthesiology & Critical Care at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, and Professor of Health Care Management at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.  He is a Senior Fellow at the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics at the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Silber is an internationally known authority on outcomes measurement and severity adjustment for both adult and pediatric applications. He created the adult quality of care measure Failure-to-Rescue (FTR) in 1990 that has been adopted as three specific quality measures by the National Quality Forum (NQF). He has also developed two length of stay outcome measures: Prolonged Length of Stay and Conditional Length of Stay, now applied to both pediatric and adult populations. With Paul Rosenbaum he developed the Omega measure that evaluates outcome measures by estimating the relative contribution of patient to hospital characteristics associated with a specific outcome, and the method of Template Matching to compare hospital cost and quality.  He has published extensively on all aspects of the theory of outcomes measure and model development and validation, as well as the applications of outcomes measures to pressing public health issues.  Much of his recent work focuses on the use of multivariate matching when comparing outcomes, specifically with respect to problems in both pediatric and adult medicine and surgery, disparities, and cancer. Dr. Silber has twice been awarded the Article of the Year Award in Health Services Research from AcademyHealth, the leading professional organization concerning Health Services Research in the U.S.

Dr. Silber helped to establish and has served as the Director of the Center for Outcomes Research since its inception in 1997.  The center is a multidisciplinary health services research hub for Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and University of Pennsylvania investigators and external academic and institutional collaborators which aims to improve health outcomes through the development, testing and application of innovative, practical metrics which serve as tools to transform the quality and efficiency of health care.

Dr. Silber teaches two courses at the University of Pennsylvania:  HCMG212 – Health Care Quality and Outcomes:  Measurement and Management at the Wharton School and EPI580 – Outcomes Research at the Perelman School of Medicine.

Continue Reading



Past Courses

  • EPID5800 - Outcomes Research

    This course is divided into two main parts. The first part addresses issues related to the measurement of quality in health care. Included is a review of theclassical structure-process-outcome quality paradigm. The paradigm's strengths and limitations are addressed. This part especially focuses on outcome measure of quality and examines the validity of alternative measures. The second part deals with observational, or quasi-experimental, research studies. It addresses the advantages and limitations of alternative designs, and covers the role of clinical risk adjustment in observational studies of medical interventions. It focuses on the problem of selection bias, and reviews recent methods for dealing with this bias, such as instrumental variables. Prerequisite: Introductory course in statistics including regression methods. Permission of instructor if prerequistion is not met.

  • HCMG8990 - Independent Study

    Arranged with members of the Faculty of the Health Care Systems Department. For further information contact the Department office, Room 204, Colonial Penn Center, 3641 Locust Walk, 898-6861.

Awards and Honors

  • Nancy Abramson Wolfson Endowed Chair of Health Services Research, 2013
  • AcademyHealth Article-of-the-Year, 2011
  • AcademyHealth Abstract-of-the-Year, 2007
  • The Hummeler Research Prize (Article-of-the-Year), Joseph Stokes, Jr. Research Institute, 2003
  • AcademyHealth (formerly Association for Health Services Research) Article-of-the-Year, 2003
  • Samuel P. Martin Health Services Research Award, 2000
  • Ethel Brown Foerderer Fund for Excellence Award, 1997

In the News

  • Check Up: Breast cancer: Why blacks fare worse, Philadelphia Inquirer - 08/25/2013
  • Study finds why black women less likely to survive breast cancer, CBS News - 07/24/2013
  • Health at diagnosis may drive breast cancer survival gap, Reuters - 07/23/2013
  • Black-White Divide Persists in Breast Cancer, New York Times - 07/23/2013
  • Failure and Rescue, The New Yorker - 10/07/2012
  • How aggressive is your hospital?, New York Times - 02/03/2011
  • What and where is the “waste” in health care?, The Incidental Economist - 01/12/2011
  • Children’s hospitals may face financial hardship, Pittsburgh Business Times - 03/08/1999

Knowledge at Wharton


Latest Research

Rachel R. Kelz, Morgan M. Sellers, Bijan A. Niknam, James E. Sharpe, Paul R. Rosenbaum, Alexander S. Hill, Hong Zhou, Lauren L. Hochman, Karl Y. Bilimoria, Kamal Itani, Patrick S. Romano, Jeffrey H. Silber (2020), A national comparison of operative outcomes of new and experienced surgeons, Annals of Surgery, (to appear).
All Research

In the News

Grading Hospital Quality with a Level Playing Field

By “matching” patients across a group of hospitals, a new paper co-authored by two Wharton professors suggests a fairer and more accurate way of assessing the quality of health care providers.
Read More

Knowledge at Wharton - 5/20/2014
All News

Wharton Magazine

11 Ground-breaking, World-Changing Wharton PhDs

Meet some of the School’s doctoral alumni who are shaping the way we do business

Wharton Magazine - 04/11/2018