Last month, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a new rule that prohibits nursing homes that receive federal funding from using forced arbitration agreements for dispute resolution.
These agreements allow nursing homes to avoid lawsuits by forcing residents to resolve complaints of abuse or neglect in private, in proceedings that often favor the nursing home.
While arbitration agreements allow nursing facilities to save on legal costs, residents and their families are prohibited from pursuing a legal claim to receive the justice they deserve.
The new rule affects approximately 1.5 million nursing home residents and is the most significant change in nursing home rules in a quarter century.
The CMS, which controls $1 trillion in nursing home funding, will implement the rule in three phases. The first phase starts on Nov. 28, 2016, the second begins on Nov. 28, 2017 and the third phase starts on the same date in 2019.
Officials from the nursing home industry have voiced their opposition to the change, stating that it is not necessary. They say that allowing lawsuits will raise operational costs, raising the cost of care for residents.
Wrongful Death Claims Covered Up by Forced Arbitration
Arbitration agreements prevent victims of nursing home abuse from pursuing legal action, even if the abuse led to death.
Last November, an article from The New York Times detailed two shocking examples of cases that were blocked from court due to arbitration agreements.
A 94-year-old resident of a Murrysville, Pennsylvania, was found dead in her room after suffering a head wound that was not treated properly. Another family faced a similar problem when their 100-year-old loved one was murdered at a nursing home.
If your loved one has suffered abuse or neglect at a nursing home, your family may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. The nursing home abuse attorneys at The Edwards Law Firm will fight for your family’s best interests, seeking justice and maximized compensation.