Fight Against Right To Sue Nursing Homes Heats Up

If you have a family member who is either currently in a nursing home or in need of the services of a nursing home, you might be familiar with the arbitration agreements that are included in some contracts for their services. Last year, under Obama’s administration, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) tried to make it illegal for nursing homes to require these agreements as a term of receiving their services. However, that was overturned when Trump’s administration took office. The Hill reports on how the fight to retain the right to sue nursing homes is heating up.

CMS announced in June the plan to do away with the Obama-era rule that prohibited nursing homes that accept funds for Medicare or Medicaid from having arbitration agreements in their contracts. These agreements mean that disputes over neglect, abuse, and even wrongful death must be settled by a third-party instead of a court.

Many consumer groups are urging CMS to reconsider their plans to do away with the rule.

More than 75 consumer, health and advocacy groups have joined forces to create the Fair Arbitration Now Coalition to stop CMS from reversing the ruling barring nursing homes from requiring arbitration agreements.

They claim that this protection is critical for the elderly.

Last October, the American Health Care Association (ACHA) and a group of nursing homes sued CMS and the Department of Health and Human Services, saying that their ban violated the Federal Arbitration Act. The case was put on hold in June while CMS revised the rule.

Under the revised rule, nursing homes would be allowed to have arbitration agreements included in their contracts, but they would have to be worded in such a way that they would be in plain language. The nursing home would have to explain the agreement to the patient and or his or her representative. The prospective resident would also have to acknowledge that they understand the agreement.

Have you or a loved one been the victim of abuse or neglect while staying in a nursing home? Let the attorneys at the law offices of Schenk Smith fight to get you the compensation that you deserve. Call us today.