New Data Show That Health Care Providers Are Dismissing Coloradans’ Medical Concerns

Nearly one in six Colorado adults (about 514,000 people) who sought health services in the past year experienced dismissive care, according to findings from the 2023 Colorado’s Health Access Survey (CHAS). For the first time, the survey asked respondents about whether they felt their medical providers dismissed their health concerns. The findings provide a critical window into an important health care issue and reveal opportunities for improvement.

About three-quarters of people (73.8%) who felt they received dismissive treatment said the medical provider ignored their symptoms or concerns. More than three in five said the medical provider did not believe them or take them seriously (61.9%) and/or didn’t provide them with a treatment plan (62.2%). Nearly half were told they were fine (46.7%) or the provider didn’t know what was wrong (47.4%). Others were told their health issues were caused by their age, their mental health, or their weight.

This new analysis on dismissive treatment in Colorado follows the February launch of findings from the CHAS. That release included key data on insurance coverage, mental health, climate and health, housing stability, food security, affordability of care, long COVID, and other topics. Over the course of the year, the Colorado Health Institute will continue to roll out new analyses of additional survey topics. Visit the CHAS website frequently for new updates and new analysis.

2023 CHAS sponsor logos

The Colorado Health Foundation is the lead sponsor for the Colorado Health Access Survey. Other funders include the Colorado Springs Health Foundation, Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing, Colorado Department of Human Services, Colorado Office of e-Health Innovation, Colorado Behavioral Health Administration, Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Colorado Gives Foundation, Delta Dental Foundation of Colorado, and the Steadman Group.

About the Colorado Health Institute

The Colorado Health Institute is a nonprofit, mission-driven research and consulting group advancing equity and well-being in our communities through deep expertise and implementational know-how. We simplify the complex, provide context, and advance policies that make a difference.

Contact for the Colorado Health Institute

Joe Hanel, Communications Director, or 720.382.7093