News Briefs Archive

New Report: How Many Women Have Had Negative Healthcare Experiences?

March 1, 2023

A new report from the Kaiser Family Foundation is offering insights into what women experience when interacting with our healthcare system.

Here are the key findings among women ages 18-64 who have seen a healthcare provider in the past two years:

  • Twenty-nine percent report that their doctor had dismissed their concerns in that time period, 15 percent reported that a provider did not believe they were telling the truth, 19 percent say their doctor assumed something about them without asking, and 13 percent say that a provider suggested they were personally to blame for a health problem. A higher share of women (38 percent) than men (32 percent) report having had at least one of these negative experiences with a healthcare provider.
  • One-in-10 (9 percent) women ages 18-64 say they have experienced discrimination because of their age, gender, race, sexual orientation, religion, or some other personal characteristic during a healthcare visit in the past two years.
  • Few women report being asked about social and economic factors that may influence health. While 58 percent report that in the past two years their provider asked them about what kind of work they do, far fewer report having been asked about their housing situation (30 percent), their ability to afford food (20 percent), or access to reliable transportation (20 percent). Women with Medicaid and those with low incomes are more likely to say they have been asked about these last three indicators than women with private insurance and those with higher incomes.
  • Kaiser notes that communication is an important component of healthcare quality; however, 21 percent of women (including 38 percent of uninsured women) say it is difficult to find a doctor who explains things in a way that is easy to understand.
  • Just over one-third (35 percent) of women ages 40-64 say their healthcare provider ever talked to them about what to expect in menopause.

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