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CMS Restores Nursing Home Residents’ Rights, Prohibiting Pre-Dispute Forced Arbitration Contracts

New Rule Ensures that Families Can Hold Facilities Accountable When Residents are Harmed

September 28,2016

The following is a statement from American Association for Justice President Julie Braman Kane in response to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid’s announcement today of a final rule regulating nursing homes:

“The days of nursing homes using forced arbitration agreements to evade accountability and force residents and their families into signing away their legal rights are nearing an end. Today the Obama administration finalized regulations prohibiting pre-dispute arbitration clauses, taking a tremendous step toward protecting nursing home residents by ensuring that they can hold facilities accountable in cases of abuse or neglect.

“Families harmed by nursing homes united with a wide array of advocates for seniors and consumer groups to urge CMS to prohibit pre-dispute arbitration, and their voices were heard. Today’s rule will ensure that arbitration is truly voluntary by permitting its use only after a dispute arises.

"This will greatly improve patient safety at nursing homes and restore the rights of nursing home residents and their families.”

Ben Somberg