As this blog discussed in a post last month, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services recently announced a new rule that would deny funding to any nursing home that includes a mandatory arbitration clause in its admission contract. Essentially, the new rule uses fiscal policy to discourage nursing homes from including arbitration clauses in their contracts. This means that abused or neglected nursing home residents will be able to use the court system – rather than a private, confidential, and often one-sided arbitration system – to resolve claims against nursing homes.
Some commentators suggest that the new rule may also lead to an overall increase in the level of care nursing homes offer to residents. According to one recent news article discussing the new rule and its potential implications across the nursing home industry, nursing homes will now be forced to deal with the claims against them in public courthouses rather than in confidential arbitration.
One of the reasons the nursing home industry favored arbitration for years was that the results of the arbitration – favorable or not – were not made a part of the public record. However, with fewer nursing homes including arbitration clauses in their admission contracts, the public will have a greater understanding of the types of claims that arise in nursing homes. This increased awareness, it is suggested, will result in nursing homes trying harder to avoid potential claims.
Nursing Home Admission Contracts
The new rule implemented by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid is prospective, meaning that it will affect future nursing home admission contracts. Nursing home residents and their family members who have already signed an admission contract containing an arbitration clause will not likely be excused from the obligation to arbitrate without making a legal challenge to the clause or the contract as a whole. However, courts will occasionally invalidate arbitration clauses under certain circumstances. Anyone who is considering filing a nursing home abuse or neglect case should speak with a dedicated personal injury attorney to discuss how to proceed.
Has Your Loved One Suffered Injuries in a Maryland Nursing Home?
If you have a loved one in a Maryland nursing home, and you believe that they may be a victim of abuse or neglect, you may be entitled to monetary compensation though a personal injury lawsuit. Even if you or your loved one signed a contract containing an arbitration clause, there may be a valid legal challenge to the clause. To learn more about nursing home abuse and neglect lawsuits, call 410-654-3600 to set up a free consultation with a dedicated Maryland personal injury attorney at the law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC. The skilled advocates at Lebowitz & Mzhen know how difficult it can be to suffer through negligence of any kind, and we take every precaution to ensure that the process is made as easy on our clients as possible. Call today for a no-risk consultation.
More Blog Posts:
Nursing Home Resident Dies After Developing Gangrene from Untreated Bedsores, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, published October 7, 2016.
Prosecutors Decline Criminal Charges in Nursing Home Beating Death, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, published October 21, 2016.