House Bill 344
151st General Assembly (2021 - 2022)
The General Assembly has ended, the current status is the final status.
AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 16 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO BIAS TRAINING FOR HEALTHCARE WORKERS.
Implicit bias, meaning the attitudes or internalized stereotypes that affect our perceptions, actions, and decisions in an unconscious manner, exists, and often contributes to unequal treatment of people based on race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, disability, and other characteristics. Implicit bias contributes to health disparities by affecting the behavior of licensed health professionals and other health care staff. In some cases, explicit bias also contributes to disparities in health treatments and outcomes. Evidence of racial and ethnic disparities in health care is consistent across a range of illnesses and health care services. Racial and ethnic disparities remain even after adjusting for socioeconomic differences, insurance status, and other factors influencing access to health care. African American women are three to four times more likely than white women to die from pregnancy-related causes nationwide. African American patients often are prescribed less pain medication than white patients who present the same complaints, and African American patients with signs of heart problems are not referred for advanced cardiovascular procedures as often as white patients with the same symptoms. Implicit gender bias also impacts treatment decisions and outcomes. Women are less likely to survive a heart attack when they are treated by a male physician and surgeon. LGBTQ and gender-nonconforming patients are less likely to seek timely medical care because they experience disrespect and discrimination from health care staff, with one out of five transgender patients nationwide reporting that they were outright denied medical care due to bias. This Act is intended to provide licensed health care professionals and other health care staff with strategies for understanding and reducing the impact of their biases in order to reduce disparate outcomes and ensure that all patients receive fair treatment and quality health care by requiring annual explicit and implicit bias training for health professionals and staff of hospitals and freestanding birthing centers. Training are required to be conducted in a manner that allows licensed healthcare professionals to receive continuing education credits relevant to licensure for participating in the training. This Act takes effect January 1, 2023.
Takes effect upon being signed into law