Bill requires all D.C. healthcare workers to have cultural competency training

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A bill approved Tuesday by the Council of the District of Columbia would require all healthcare professionals to receive training on health issues facing the LGBT community.

The first-of-its-kind bill, which was approved unanimously, would require all licensed, certified and registered healthcare workers to undergo two credits of cultural competency training. This is focused on treating and establishing relationships with patients who are LGBT, gender non-conforming, or questioning, according to MetroWeekly.

Training would also cover health risks specific to the LGBT community, best practices for dealing with patient information and overcoming cultural biases that would adversely affect care. A recent study in the American Journal of Public Health showed some healthcare workers may harbor bias regarding their patients' sexual orientation.

The bill will now go to Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) for signing, followed by a 30-day congressional review period.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services released a tool in late July that aims to educate providers on how to create safe, welcoming services for older lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender adults.