Forced Arbitration and Nursing Home Abuse: An Update
Very recently the Centers of Medicaid and Medicare proposed a rule banning forced arbitration in federally funded long term facilities. Forced arbitration clauses are often signed without the resident, or their families, fully comprehending the legal implications of such clauses.
Forced arbitration clauses limit/eliminate Nursing home residents’ rights to seek justice for wrongdoings, like abuse and or neglect, in a court of law. Instead such claims are handled by third party arbitrators elected by the nursing home facility.
Up until last week many residents were hopeful that moving forward residents wouldn’t inadvertently give up their legal rights, and that those guilty of nursing home abuse or neglect would finally be held accountable in a court of law. Unforuntely the recent ruling of a U.S. district court judge has disappointed many and threatened to jeopardize advances in the omission of forced arbiratraion clauses in Nursing Home contacts.
“The implementation of a new rule prohibiting federal funds for nursing homes that enter binding arbitration agreements with residents has been blocked by a U.S. district court judge, who found that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) did not have authority to enact the mandate without statutory authority.”- The ABA Journal