Yet another state is seeking to impose offensive DEI-related training requirements onto its physicians, nurses, and multiple healthcare professionals.
Lawmakers in Nebraska have introduced a bill with the intent “to require implicit bias or diversity, equity, and inclusion training for medical providers credentialed under the Uniform Credentialing Act.” Legislative Bill 291 (LB291) will compel all healthcare professionals – even veterinary medicine providers – to complete DEI or implicit bias training on an annual basis.
With new credential applications and renewals that begin on or after October 1, 2024, licensees must complete “a program designed to increase awareness of prejudices and partialities” and “reduce prejudice and discrimination.” The result is purported to be “reducing inequitable health treatments and outcomes.” To administer LB291, the total cost to Nebraska taxpayers is estimated to be $328,896. This money would have a real impact on health care disparities if it were committed to improving outreach programs to communities with insufficient health care access.
Do No Harm has explained that “implicit bias” is a concept that places people into identity groups based on skin color, labeling them as either the “oppressed” or the “oppressors.” Despite constant claims to the contrary, there simply is no evidence that medical professionals deliver patient care differently based on their patients’ immutable characteristics. A so-called “test” that has been widely used to measure an individual’s implicit biases has been proven to be unreliable and based on flawed science. Yet, state legislatures like Nebraska continue to create DEI training mandates that place additional burdens on healthcare providers who are already struggling with burnout and constant demands for their time.
States like Oklahoma and Texas have taken measures to remove divisive and dangerous DEI initiatives from their public universities, and Kentucky recently rescinded its implicit bias training requirement for nurses. Policymakers in Nebraska need to give serious consideration this trend, as well as the negative impact that LB291 will have on its 114,000 healthcare professionals.
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