Workplace violence bill would be costly to implement

Oct 11, 2019
The Bottom Line

Proposed legislation H.R. 1309 would require SNFs, among other healthcare organizations, to develop and implement plans to prevent and protect against workplace violence. The plans, at a minimum, would have to be based on the Guidelines for Preventing Workplace Violence for Healthcare and Social Service Workers published by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration in 2016 and meet other requirements in the bill.

H.R. 1309 would impose mandates on covered facilities by requiring them to:

  • Provide annual staff training;
  • Investigate violent incidents;
  • Develop violence prevention plans that include risk assessment, hazard correction, and infrastructure upgrades;
  • Maintain and retain related records for at least five years; and
  • Report and evaluate information as required by the OSHA rule.

The Congressional Budget Office's cost estimate al;so states that the annual training, development and implementation of plans for preventiion, and maintaining certain infrastructure changes would cost healthcare facilities. The statement also states that some of these costs would be offset by a likely reduction in worker's compensation claims due to reduced workplace violence. CBO estimates that larger facilities, particularly hospitals and nursing homes, would incur significant and uncertain costs because of the possibility of more frequent incidents and the likelihood of expensive infrastructure changes.

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