1 in 3 LGBTQ adults say they’ve been treated unfairly by a health care provider

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Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer adults are twice as likely as their non-LGBTQ counterparts to report having had negative health care experiences over the last three years, according to a new report.

One-third (33%) of LGBTQ adults say they were treated unfairly or with disrespect or had at least one negative experience with a health care provider, compared to 15% of non-LGBTQ adults, according to a new report by KFF, a health care and polling nonprofit formerly known as the Kaiser Family Foundation. 

Of the LGBTQ adults who reported negative experiences, 61% said a provider assumed something about them without asking, suggested they were personally to blame for a health problem, ignored a direct request or question or refused to prescribe needed pain medication, compared to 31% of non-LGBTQ adults who reported negative experiences.

Those negative encounters have an effect on LGBTQ adults’ health, the survey found. Of LGBTQ adults who reported having negative health care experiences in the last three years, nearly one-quarter (24%) said those experiences caused their health to get worse, compared to 9% of non-LGBTQ adults; 39% said those experiences made them less likely to seek health care, compared to 15% of non-LGBTQ adults; and 36% said such negative experiences caused them to switch health care providers, compared to 16% of non-LGBTQ adults.