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Implicit bias training required for Michigan health care professionals

LANSING, Mich. — Michigan health care professionals will soon be required to undergo implicit bias training as part of the licensing process.  Governor Gretchen Whitmer and the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) made the announcement Tuesday, June 1. Governor Whitmer said the new requirement is an important step to address health care disparities and improve equity in the delivery of healthcare to all Michigan residents. LARA has adopted new administrative rules that require implicit bias training as part of the knowledge and skills necessary for the licensure or registration of health care professionals in Michigan.   

Today’s new training guidelines will help us mitigate the impacts of implicit bias and ensure every patient in Michigan receives the best possible care,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. These rules will save lives and improve health outcomes for generations of Michiganders, especially those who have been historically and systemically discriminated against. They will make Michigan safer, healthier, and more just.” 

New applicants for licensure or registration will need to complete a minimum of 2 hours of training, and applicants for renewal will need to complete a minimum of 1 hour of training each year.  The annual training curriculum can cover a variety of topics related to implicit bias but must incorporate strategies to reduce disparities including the administration of self-assessments. 

The new requirement will be effective June 1, 2022, which will allow training sponsors time to develop courses and applicants an opportunity to take training prior to their next renewal date.  Implicit bias training may be sponsored by a nationally or state recognized health-related organization, an accredited college or university, a state or federal agency, a continuing education program approved by a state licensing board, or an organization specializing in diversity, equity, and inclusion issues.  Several health care providers already offer implicit bias training and various health associations are currently developing training for their members. 

 The new requirements are included in sections R 338.7001 – 338.7005 of the Public Health Code – General Rules.