Laura Hatfield, PhD

Laura Hatfield, PhD, is an associate professor of health care policy (biostatistics). Her research focuses on trade-offs and relationships among health outcomes. In particular, she develops statistical methods that incorporate multiple sources of information, relationships among outcomes, and loss functions to improve decision making. Dr. Hatfield has particular expertise in Bayesian hierarchical modeling.

Dr. Hatfield’s primary methodological contributions are in multiple outcome modeling. From her early work in joint models for longitudinal and survival outcome to recent work on multiple quality measurements, her hierarchical models allow researchers to attribute variation across multiple levels of the data and explore emergent patterns. Recently, Dr. Hatfield has combined patient preferences and regulator loss functions with hierarchical outcome models to improve treatment and safety decision making.

In applied collaborations within HCP and beyond, Dr. Hatfield has studied cardiac medical devices, cancer chemotherapy, physician behavior, health care spending, and delivery system reform. She has evaluated interventions ranging from price transparency initiatives to home care management systems, and from accountable care organizations to patient-centered medical homes. She built a large microsimulation to forecast health care spending, coverage, and outcomes of Medicare beneficiaries. She has modeled temporal and geographic variation in medical device use and outcomes. Inspired by this applied work, Dr. Hatfield is currently working to improve methods for control group selection in observational health services and outcomes research. 

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



© Suzanne Camarata Photography

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Honors and Awards


Jacob E. Bearman Award

Outstanding academic and professional achievement

Division of Biostatistics, UMN SPH

Travel Award

To attend the ISI World Congress


Travel Award

To attend the Bayesian Biostatistics Conference

University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center

Young Investor Travel Award

To attend the ISBA annual meeting

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

Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship

University of Minnesota Graduate School

Student Paper Award

Research on Bayesian methodology

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

James R. Boen Award 

Achievements in applied biostatistics

Division of Biostatistics, UMN SPH

Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award

Division of Biostatistics, UMN SPH

Dean's Scholar

University of Minnesota School of Public Health (UMN SPH)

Phi Beta Kappa

Iowa State University


National Merit Scholar

To attend Iowa State University

National Merit Scholarship Corp.