LGBTQ+ patients aren’t receiving the preventive care they need. Digital tools can help. 

LGBTQ+ people face barriers to preventive care. Learn what those factors are and how digital tools can help your organization overcome them.
Infographic Patient Experience

Less than half of LGBTQ+ patients age 45 and over said that their doctors discussed cancer screenings with them, according to 2022 research from Phreesia and Klick Health. 

That’s just one area where LGBTQ+ people see different levels of preventive care than their cisgender, heterosexual counterparts. Barriers like bias and financial stress disproportionately leave LGBTQ+ patients of all ages in the dark. 

Read the infographic below to see what factors lead to poorer preventive care among LGBTQ+ patients and what digital tools your organization can implement to address them. 

Click the image to view the full-sized infographic. 

An image of an infographic displaying the text below.

Between healthcare discrimination, greater difficulty affording care and other barriers, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer and/or questioning (LGBTQ+) patients feel comparatively less knowledgeable about preventive care than the general population. Greater education and digital tools can help close the gap.

In 2022, Phreesia and Klick Health partnered to evaluate LGBTQ+ communities’ experiences with preventive care.1

Here are the main takeaways:

LGBTQ+ patients are less likely to receive important preventive screenings

  • 25% of LGBTQ+ patients said they felt “not at all confident” that they knew what preventive screenings they should schedule
  • 48% of LGBTQ+ patients over age 45 said their doctor had never recommended appropriate cancer screenings to them
  • 55% of LGBTQ+ patients said they did not receive preventive health reminder messages from their providers
  • 3 common major health conditions—high blood pressure, high cholesterol and cancer—that LGBTQ+ patients are less likely to be screened for

Knowledge and care gaps are more common among female, older and non-cisgender* LGBTQ+ people, though patients’ experiences also vary widely based on where they live in the U.S.

*includes transgender men and women and genderqueer, genderfluid, Two-Spirit and other gender nonconforming people

Care disparities are the result of exclusion, costs and lack of awareness

Healthcare organizations should be safe for all, but LGBTQ+ communities often face intolerance in medical settings, which has eroded their trust in the healthcare system.

  • According to the Center for American Progress (CAP), 8% of LGBTQ+ respondents reported that they were denied medical care due to their identities. That rate soared among non-cisgender people: Nearly one-third said they had been denied care.2
  • As a result, 15% of LGBTQ+ patients said that they had postponed or avoided medical treatment because of discrimination, including nearly 3 in 10 transgender patients.3
  • In the Phreesia/Klick Health survey, almost 30% of LGBTQ+ patients said they faced financial barriers to receiving medical care, and just 28% reported that their insurance covered preventive health.1
  • LGBTQ+ patients are less likely to report that doctors discuss preventive health with them.

Digital tools can help bridge the preventive-care gap

To help LGBTQ+ patients incorporate more life-saving preventive health measures into their care, patient-provider conversations and higher screening rates are critical.

But awareness isn’t enough to resolve preventive-care disparities. The next step is to directly reach LGBTQ+ patients with support materials—specifically those that underscore the importance of preventive care and address potential financial barriers.

Technology can support this patient engagement strategy by helping providers reach LGBTQ+ patients through the channels they prefer.

  • Targeted digital outreach enables providers to deliver educational content to LGBTQ+ patients that explains the importance of preventive care. You can also send automated, individualized reminders about screenings and routine vaccinations (and include links for patients to self-schedule appointments!). Consistent messaging can increase recall rates and help improve patients’ health outcomes.
  • Digital check-in solutions with customized intake questions help you ask each patient relevant questions and gather accurate data. Empowering patients to self-report their sexual orientation, gender, chosen name and pronouns, for instance, affirms their identity and helps address disparities. LGBTQ+ patients may feel more comfortable privately sharing their personal information through a digital check-in process rather than by filling out paperwork or answering questions from staff. And when clinicians better understand their patients’ identities and experiences, they can ensure that the care they provide is culturally competent.4, 5
  • Automated screening tools let you know before a patient’s visit whether they are up-to-date on the preventive care they need. Digital registration can capture that information, giving clinicians the opportunity to focus exam-room conversations on closing any care gaps.

“Providing culturally competent care to LGBTQ+ patients is no different from providing patient-centered care to any other group. Ask open-ended questions. Understand their social situation. Listen carefully. Be mindful of challenges that may be different for their community. Educate yourself on the health issues that matter to them.”

Alicia Cowley, MD, MBA, Director of Clinical Content, Phreesia

Phreesia can help your organization close gaps in LGBTQ+ preventive care and gather important health information from every patient. Learn more here.


  1. Closing the Gap: Boosting preventive care among LGBTQ+ patients,” Phreesia Life Sciences, October 2022
  2. Discrimination Prevents LGBTQ People From Accessing Health Care,” Center for American Progress, January 18, 2018
  3. The State of the LGBTQ Community in 2020,” Center for American Progress, October 6, 2020
  4. Kronk C, Everhart A, Ashley F, Thompson H, Schall T, Goetz T, Hiatt L, Derrick Z, Queen R, Ram A, Guthman E, Danforth O, Lett E, Potter E, Sun S, Marshall Z, Karnoski R. Transgender data collection in the electronic health record: Current concepts and issues. JAMIA Open. 2022;29(2):271-284.
  5. Patient-Centered Care for Transgender Patients: Recommended Practice for Health Care Settings,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, February 18, 2022