The Obama administration proposed sweeping reforms for nursing homes that could cost facilities an extra $40,000 a year.
A proposed rule announced Monday by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services would revise the requirements that nursing homes have to meet to participate in the federal programs. It would be the first update to the requirements in 24 years.
Among the new requirements is ensuring staff have the appropriate skills to provide behavioral healthcare, which include caring for residents with mental illnesses.
CMS also wants a nursing home to have a director of food and nutrition service to ensure residents get the proper nutrition. Facilities also have to provide food and drinks that take into consideration a resident's allergies, intolerance and preferences, according to the proposal.
In addition, the agency calls for a new compliance and ethics program, where each facility has written standards, policies and procedures that can help reduce ethical or even criminal violations.
Complying with the proposed requirements won't come cheap. The agency estimates that the proposed requirements would cost a facility $46,491 for the first year and about $40,000 a year after that.
The public has about 60 days to comment on the proposal.