Feds announce new Medicaid/Medicare rule banning arbitration clauses in nursing home contracts

Effective in November, 2016, mandatory arbitration clauses in nursing home admissions contracts will be prohibited for all nursing homes which accept federal Medicaid or Medicare dollars. This is a dramatic shift in the landscape which will enable injured parties to decide whether to pursue their negligence claims or other claims through the civil courts or through binding arbitration. Presently, it is common practice by many, perhaps most, nursing homes to include mandatory binding arbitration as a condition in the admissions contract. This means the resident gives up his/her right to sue. It also means the case is kept private and off of the statistics records. The Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) has adopted the regulation, which was first published in the federal register for notice and comment over a year ago.

The NY Times reported on this today. A prior NY Times piece explained that the rule proposal would not be applicable retroactively to contracts that were previously signed.

Other CMS rule proposals are here.

Call us to review your nursing home admission contract and for advice on careful long-term care planning … 732-382-6070