New Proposed Nursing Home Regulations for Arbitration Clauses – Elder Law Attorney, Woodstock, GA

Nursing homes have included mandatory arbitration clauses in many of their contracts.  Typically, as people are being admitted to the nursing home, they are signing many papers and they are not clear about what they are signing.  Nursing homes have also been known to make it mandatory to sign all of the documents for the patient to be admitted.  Since this is a very emotional and traumatic time in people’s lives, they are not inclined to question the documents and risk not getting the required care for their loved one.

However, CMS has recognized the significant problem with the mandatory arbitration clauses and has proposed new regulations that would require a neutral arbitrator to conduct the arbitration sessions instead of an arbitrator that works for or is closely aligned with the nursing home or their parent corporation.  The proposed regulations also require that the patient clearly understands what they are signing and agree to it voluntarily, not under duress.  As a result the nursing home could not make the patient sign the arbitration agreement in order to be admitted to the facility.

CMS is accepting comments on the proposed regulations for the next 60 days if you would like to share your thoughts.

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