Lots of nursing homes now force people to sign away their right to a fair hearing in court. Instead, the nursing home will hand-pick a friendly lawyer to hear your complaint. This is totally legal, and it’s called forced arbitration.
It’s a common practice big companies use to keep people from holding them accountable for fraud or mistakes. Instead of having the chance to state their case in a courtroom, with an impartial judge or jury, people explain the situation to a lawyer, often hand-picked by the very company on trial.
Thankfully, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have proposed changing their rules to tighten restrictions on nursing homes using forced arbitration. This is huge — since CMS funding makes up so much of nursing homes’ budgets, what they decide is likely to set a new standard across the industry. Caring Across Generations will be telling CMS to end forced arbitration in nursing home contracts. Comments are due soon, and we need to show strong support. Will you sign our petition to add your name to the comment we submit?
When you sign, we'll add your name to our comments to CMS.
Our comments to CMS will cover several pages, but here's a short excerpt of what we will send:
The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that by 2030, one in every five U.S. residents will be 65 years or older. “By 2050, the population of Americans 65 years or older would nearly double from their population in 2010.” The services provided by long-term care facilities will be more critical than ever, as they tend to a growing segment of the population. The incentives of nursing home operators and their corporate owners must be aligned with their capability and willingness to provide each resident with adequate care. The elimination of pre-dispute arbitration clauses in contracts between facilities and their residents will further the purposes of the Medicare and Medicaid programs by improving accountability, which would in turn better serve a growing population and improve the health and safety of older Americans.