“The Centers for Medicare & Medicare Services (CMS) announced plans in June to do away with an Obama-era rule that prohibited nursing homes that accept Medicare or Medicaid funds from including language in their resident contracts requiring that disputes be settled by a third party rather than a court.”
Remington Gregg, counsel for civil justice and consumer rights at Public Citizen, speaking to the Hill, called the rule change, “shameful.”
He continued, “We’re talking about everything you may have a problem with – abuse, neglect, sexual assault, a wide variety of things – they are now saying you are waiving your right to full justice.” He added, “Any agency action must meet a high bar for ensuring the action taken isn’t arbitrary and capricious.”
What this means:
- The proposed new rule would make arbitration mandatory in cases of elder abuse [including acts of sexual abuse] at nursing homes.*
- The proposed new rule means that victims of abuse, or their families, would have no right to sue nursing homes. *
* Nursing homes that accept Medicare and Medicaid funding would be allowed to have an arbitration clause in their contracts, forcing nursing home residents into arbitration instead of the private right to pursue litigation.