Washington, DC — AARP applauds the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) final rule that prohibits nursing homes and other long-term care facilities from using mandatory pre-dispute binding arbitration agreements with their residents.
“This rule change is a win for consumers,” said AARP Executive Vice President Nancy LeaMond. “Nursing home residents and their families will now have access to the courts to address misconduct such as neglect, sexual assault, and wrongful death.”
With this new rule, nursing facility residents and their family caregivers will no longer be forced to accept mandatory binding arbitration agreements as a pre-condition for entering a facility, and thereby automatically waive their right to having a court and a jury decide their claims. Permitting only post-dispute arbitration agreements will help ensure that residents are knowingly and voluntarily entering these agreements, that facilities will be held accountable for actions, and that there is transparency about claims that have been brought against poor performing facilities.
The CMS rule applies only to long-term care facilities that accept residents with Medicare and Medicaid coverage. The rule takes effect on November 28, 2016, and will not change pre-dispute arbitration agreements that were in place before this date. Post-dispute arbitration agreements are allowed, but these are not mandatory as a condition of being admitted to a long-term care facility.
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AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with a membership of nearly 38 million that helps people turn their goals and dreams into “Real Possibilities” by changing the way America defines aging. With staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, AARP works to strengthen communities and promote the issues that matter most to families such as healthcare security, financial security, and personal fulfillment. AARP also advocates for individuals in the marketplace by selecting products and services of high quality and value to carry the AARP name. As a trusted source for news and information, AARP produces the world’s largest circulation magazine, AARP The Magazine, and AARP Bulletin. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to political campaigns or candidates. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org or follow @aarp on Twitter.