A federal workplace violence prevention bill that could cost nursing homes, hospitals and other healthcare providers billions of dollars in order to comply was approved by the U.S. House.
The House voted 251-158 Thursday to pass the Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act (H.R. 1309), Bloomberg Law first reported. The legislation received 219 votes in favor from Democrats and 32 from Republicans, according to the roll call vote.
The legislation would require the Secretary of Labor to issue a final rule requiring healthcare and social services employers to develop and implement a comprehensive plan for protecting workers and other personnel from workplace violence.
If the bill is passed, skilled nursing facilities and hospitals would be required to comply with it as a condition of partaking in the Medicare program. Compliance would come at a hefty price.
The Congressional Budget Office projected the proposal would cost private facilities at least $2.7 billion to comply during the first two years, and $1.3 billion annually thereafter. Additionally, it would cost public facilities an estimated $100 million in the first two years and $55 million annually thereafter.
The legislation now heads to the Senate and has been referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions.