Nursing Home Arbitration Ban Hits Temporary Roadblock
Posted by PKSD Law Firm on November 8, 2016 in Nursing Homes and Elder Rights
A U.S. District Court judge for the Northern District of Mississippi has temporarily blocked a federal ruling that ends the use of forced arbitration agreements in most nursing homes and long term care facilities.
The judge has blocked the Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) ruling from going into effect on Nov. 28, as it was originally scheduled. Instead, the ruling will remain on hold until the court case challenging the ruling wraps up.
In September, CMS proposed a rule to end the use of forced arbitration agreements as a requirement for admission into nursing homes. The ruling granted greater legal rights to residents who have suffered abuse, neglect, wrongful death or other quality of care issues.
CMS argued that these agreements, which are often buried deep within the fine print of admission documents, deny residents their basic legal right to a trial by jury and force lawsuits to be settled in private rather than in open courts.
CMS planned to end federal Medicare and Medicaid funding to nursing home and long term care facilities that refuse to accept the new ruling.
Shortly after the ruling was announced, the American Health Care Association (AHCA) filed a lawsuit against CMS in an effort to protect the best interests of nursing home facilities. The AHCA and four other healthcare groups claim that CMS has no authority to force this ban on nursing homes.
The judge ruled that while the court is sympathetic to granting basic legal rights to residents of nursing homes, the legal questions presented by the case need to be addressed.
According to the judge, the CMS needs to present evidence showing that it has the legal authority to ban the use of these agreements. As strong advocates for the rights of nursing home residents, the nursing home abuse lawyers at PKSD have long-supported a ban on the use of forced arbitration agreements.
We continue our efforts to help make sure our clients rights are protected and that they receive the compensation they deserve.