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ISE Welcomes Christian Wernz on 11/30/16

Multiscale Decision Theory and its Applications to Healthcare and Beyond

 Seminar by Christian Wernz, Assistant Professor

Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Virginia Tech

Wednesday, November 30th  from 4:00 – 5:00 pm

395 Watts Hall, 2041 College Rd N

Complex socio-technical systems, such as healthcare or energy systems, consist of many interdependent decision makers with different, often conflicting, interests, who interact with each other across multiple system levels and time scales. To model and analyze the decision-making and system design challenges in such environments, I have developed multiscale decision theory (MSDT). MSDT is a modeling approach that combines game theory, Markov decision processes and dependency graphs. In this talk, I will present the foundations of MSDT and how I have applied this methodology to study incentives and payment innovations in the U.S. healthcare system. Specifically, I have analyzed the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) for Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) and its effect on medical technology investments and use. The analysis provides insights for policy makers on how to improve MSSP. Results also inform ACOs, hospitals and physicians on how to optimally respond to this new incentive mechanism. Beyond healthcare, I will discuss applications of MSDT to systems engineering and energy systems.

Dr. Christian Wernz is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Virginia Tech, where he is the Director of the Multiscale Decision Making (MSDM) laboratory. He received his doctorate in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2008. He obtained his bachelor’s and master’s degree in Business Engineering from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Germany, in 1999 and 2003, respectively. In his research, Dr. Wernz models and analyzes decision-making challenges in organizations and complex systems. His methodological expertise lies in multiscale decision theory, game theory, Markov decision processes, decision analysis and simulation. He has applied these and other operations research methods to study problems in various socio-technical systems with a focus on healthcare. His research has been funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality (AHRQ), the Harvey L. Neiman Health Policy Institute, Rolls-Royce, Dell and other industry partners.