Stephen M. Shortell PhD, MPH, MBA

Professor of the Graduate School, School of Public Health
Dean Emeritus
  • PhD Health Policy Colloquium
Research Interests: 
  • Organizational correlates of quality and outcomes of care
  • Evaluation of performance improvement 
  • Strategic change in the health care sector: e.g., evolution of integrated delivery systems and Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs)
  • Strategic alliances between physicians and other health care entities
  • Patient activation and engagement
Current Projects: 

Selected projects include the following:

  • The Comparative Impact of Patient Activation and Engagement in ACOs (ACTIVATE) - PCORI funded 
  • The Quality and Cost of Care for High-Need/ High-Cost Complex Patients - Commonwealth funded 
  • Center of Excellence in Comparative Health System Performance - AHRQ funded 
Selected Publications: 

Shortell, S.M., Colla, C.H., Lewis, V.A. et al. "Accountable Care Organizations: The National Landscape,"  Journal of Health Policy, Politics, and Law, August 2015. 40(4):645-66.

Wiley, J.A., Rihenhouse, D.R.; Shortell, S.M. et al. "Managing Chronic Illness: Physician Practices Increased the Use of Care Management and Medical Home Processes," Health Affairs, January 2015. 34:74-86.

S.M. Shortell. "Bridging the divide between health and health care," JAMA, 2013 Mar 20. 309(11):1121-2.

L.P. Casalino, F.M. Wu, A.M. Ryan, K. Copeland, D.R. Rittenhouse, P. Ramsay, and S.M. Shortell. "Independent Practice Associations And Physician Hospital Organizations Can Improve Care Management For Smaller Practices." Health Affairs, 2013. 32(8).

Addicott, R. and Shortell, S.M. "How Accountable Care Are Accountable Care Organizations?" Health Care Management Review, 2014 Jan 2.

Shortell S.M., McClellan S.R., Ramsay P.P., Casalino L.P., Ryan A.M., Copeland K.R. "Physician practice participation in Accountable Care Organizations : the emergence of the unicorn." Health Services Research, October 2014. 49(5):1519-1536.

Colla C.H., Lewis V.A., Shortell S.M., Fisher E.S. "First National Survey Of ACOs Finds Physicians Are Playing Strong Leadership and Ownership Roles". Health Aff (Millwood), June 2014. 33(6): 964-971.

Shortell S.M., F. Wu, V.A. Lewis, C.H. Colla and E. Fisher. "A Taxonomy of Accountable Care Organizations for Policy and Practice." Health Services Research, December 2014, 49(6):1883-1899.


Dr. Shortell has served as Principal Investigator on the National Surveys of Physician Organizations (NSPO 1, 2, and 3). His particular expertise is in conceptualizing, measuring, and analyzing organizational factors that are associated with physician organization and health system performance. His more than 300 peer-reviewed papers have appeared in a wide variety of organizational and health services/health policy research journals, and he is the author or co-author of ten books. Dr. Shortell is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine), past editor of Health Services Research, and past president of the Association for Health Services Research (Academy Health). He has been the recipient of the distinguished Baxter Allegiance Prize for his contributions to health services research, the Distinguished Investigator Award from Academy Health, the AHA/HRET TRUST Leadership Award, and many other awards. In 2006-2007, he was a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University.

Other interests: 
  • Governing Council - 2 terms, Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences
  • Member, Advisory Board, Kaiser Permanente, Institute for Health Policy
  • Member, Advisory Board, Thedacare Center for Value Creation
  • Member, Advisory Board, Centene Corporation
  • Member, Advisory Board, Integrated Health Care Association (IHA)
Profile Updated: October 8, 2018