Hessam Bavafa

I am an Associate Professor of Operations and Information Management at the Wisconsin School of Business. My research utilizes stochastic optimization and econometric analysis using data from large healthcare systems. The focus of this work is on innovation in health care delivery models, physician workload, panel sizes in primary care, and hospital resource management. I am an affiliate faculty of the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. I am also affiliated with the Center for Demography of Health and Aging.

My research has been published in academic journals such as Management Science, Operations Research, Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, Production & Operations Management, and Journal of Operations Management.

I serve as an Associate Editor for Management Science, Decision Sciences, and Health Care Management Science, a Senior Editor for Production & Operations Management, and a Guest Associate Editor for Manufacturing & Service Operations Management.

I have worked with leading health care organizations such as the University of Pennsylvania Health System, the Provincial Health Services Authority of British Columbia, Veterans Health Administration, University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics, and British Columbia Children's Hospital. In 2019, I held a visiting position as Senior Innovation Strategist at the Penn Medicine Center for Health Care Innovation. I'm also a moderator for the Health & Wellness Stream of the Creative Destruction Lab, which is a nonprofit organization focused on scalable, seed-stage, science- and technology-based startups.

Link to my CV
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Does What Happens in the ED Stay in the ED? The Effects of Emergency Department Physician Workload on Post-ED Care Use, with R. Batt and M. Soltani
Manufacturing and Service Operations Management (2022)

  • Winner: 2019/2020 POMS Best Paper Award Competition in Healthcare Operations Management
  • Finalist: 2022 POMS College of Behavior in Operations Management Junior Scholar Paper Competition

Capacity Rationing in Primary Care: Provider Availability and Care Channel Diversion, with A. Canamucio, S. Marcus, C. Terwiesch, and R. Werner
Management Science (2022)

Surgical Case-Mix and Discharge Decisions: Does Within-Hospital Coordination Matter?, with L. Örmeci, S. Savin, and V. Virudachalam
Operations Research (2022)

Customizing Primary Care Delivery Using E-Visits, with C. Terwiesch and S. Savin
Production and Operations Management (2021)

The Variance Learning Curve, with J. Jónasson
Management Science (2021)

  • Finalist: M&SOM Service Management SIG Best Paper Award (2021)

Recovering from Critical Incidents: Evidence from Paramedic Performance, with J. Jónasson
Manufacturing and Service Operations Management (2020)

Managing Portfolio of Elective Surgical Procedures: A Multidimensional Inverse Newsvendor Problem, with L. Örmeci, C.M. Leys, and S. Savin
Operations Research (2019)

Managing Patient Panels with Non-Physician Providers, with C. Terwiesch and S. Savin
Production and Operations Management (2019)

Work after Work: The Impact of New Service Delivery Models on Work Hours, with C. Terwiesch
Journal of Operations Management (2019)

The Impact of E-Visits on Visit Frequencies and Patient Health: Evidence from Primary Care, with L. Hitt and C. Terwiesch
Management Science (2018)

Building Financial and Health Literacy at Older Ages: The Role of Online Information, with J. Liu and A. Mukherjee
Journal of Consumer Affairs (2019)

The Burgeoning Health Care Needs of Aging Prisoners, with A. Mukherjee
American Economic Association: Papers and Proceedings (2019)

Standardization vs Customization: Finding the Right Balance, with C.A. Sinsky, J.W. Beasley, and R.G. Roberts
Annals of Family Medicine (2021)

If You're Not Keeping Score, You're Just Practising: A Lean Healthcare Program Evaluation Framework, with M. Puterman, Y. Zhang, S. Aydede, B. Palmer, S. MacLeod, and J. MacKenzie
Healthcare Quarterly (2013)

Working Papers

The Distributional Impact of Fatigue on Performance, with J. Jónasson
R&R at Management Science

Quality Improvement Spillovers: Evidence From the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program, with R. Batt and M. Soltani
Reject & Resubmit, Manufacturing and Service Operations Management

Quality-Speed Trade-off in Pharmaceutical Review Bavafa, with C. Blanco and I.J. Noh
Reject & Resubmit, Management Science

User-generated Web Data Predicts Quality Risk: Evidence from the Pharmaceutical Industry, with G. Ball, C. Blanco, and H. Park
Under Review

Inequities in the Golden Years: How Wealth Shapes Healthy and Work-Free Life, with A. Mukherjee and T.Q. Welch
Under Review

Multi-channel Chronic Patient Care in a Performance-based Reimbursement Framework, with A.M. Özbek, E.D. Güneş, L. Örmeci
Preparing for Submission


I have been teaching Business Analytics (GB 306) at the Wisconsin School of Business since 2014. The goal of this course is to develop students’ quantitative intuition through practical data analysis. Specifically, the students learn how to produce summary statistics in both tabular and visual forms, the essentials of probability and decision making under uncertainty, hypothesis testing, regression analysis, and simulation methods. Throughout the course, special attention is given to effectively writing and presenting data analysis.