Laura Hatfield, PhD

Laura Hatfield, PhD is an Assistant Professor of Health Care Policy, with a specialty in Biostatistics. Her work focuses on understanding trade-offs and relationships among health outcomes. Dr. Hatfield develops and applies statistical methods that enhance accuracy and efficiency by incorporating multiple sources of information and relationships among outcomes.

For example, Medicare Advantage enrollees report on numerous aspects of quality in their insurance plans and medical care through CAHPS surveys. Their answers depend on personal characteristics, so plan-level quality scores should be adjusted for the mix of enrollees. Standard casemix adjustment methods assume the effects are constant across plans. Dr. Hatfield, with Alan Zaslavsky, is developing hierarchical models for the variation and relationships among effects within and across outcomes.

Another project concerns medical device safety and efficacy. Observational studies of devices in real-world clinical settings can illuminate differences in the benefits and harms for different types of patients. As part of the MDEpiNet Methodology Center led by Sharon-Lise Normand, Dr. Hatfield is developing methods to combine evidence across multiple populations and outcomes.

Medical technology growth and changing benefits imply that health care spending will consume more of seniors’ resources. Dr. Hatfield, with Tom McGuire and Mike Chernew, is using microsimulation to forecast supplemental health insurance coverage and health care spending of Medicare beneficiaries. These models incorporate complex interrelations among spending growth, consumer choices, and income effects.

Dr. Hatfield received her BS from Iowa State University and her MS and PhD in biostatistics from the University of Minnesota.


© Suzanne Camarata Photography

Honors and Awards


National Merit Scholar

To attend Iowa State University

National Merit Scholarship Corp.


Phi Beta Kappa

Iowa State University


Dean’s Scholar

University of Minnesota School of Public Health (UMN SPH)


Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award

Division of Biostatistics, UMN SPH


James R. Boen Award

Achievements in applied biostatistics

Division of Biostatistics, UMN SPH


Student Paper Award

Research on Bayesian methodology

Section on Bayesian Statistical Science (SBSS) of the American Statistical Association (ASA)


Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship

University of Minnesota Graduate School


Young Investigator Travel Award

To attend the ISBA annual meeting

Institute of Mathematical Statistics (IMS) and International Society of Bayesian Analysis (ISBA)


Travel Award

To attend the Bayesian Biostatistics Conference

University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center


Travel Award

To attend the ISI World Congress



Jacob E. Bearman Award

Outstanding academic and professional achievement

Division of Biostatistics, UMN SPH