Image of nurses' hands at computer keyboard
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An estimated 8,600 skilled nursing facilities will participate in training for a non-discrimination rule finalized by the Department of Health and Human Services last week.

The HHS’ Nondiscrimination in Health Programs and Activities rule, published in the Federal Register on Wednesday, prohibits discrimination based on race, color, national origin, age or disability in federally funded health programs. The rule also expands Title IX protections to include discrimination of sex, gender identity, pregnancy and sex stereotyping, making it the first federal law to prohibit such discrimination. People with disabilities or limited English proficiency are also protected by the rule.

The HHS expects 8,623 skilled nursing facilities to train on the new regulations. The training is expected to cost nearly $327 million for the more than 7.2 million healthcare workers affected by the rule, who include:

  • 4.8 million diagnosing and treating practitioners, like registered nurses and therapists

  • 2.9 million degreed technical staff, like dietetic, nursing and records technicians

  • 3.9 million non-degreed medical assistants, such as orderlies and home health aides

  • 300,000 healthcare managers

Training healthcare workers on the new regulations will likely take one hour, HHS said. The training may include e-courses and lectures.

The rule has technically been in effect since 2010, when it was introduced as part of the Affordable Care Act. With the HHS’ finalization, the majority of the rule’s provisions will be effective starting July 18, 2016.