Earlier this year, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a new rule that nursing homes that include binding arbitration clauses in their contracts will not be eligible for federal funding. In a recent development, the American Health Care Association (AHCA) – a non-profit group formed to advance the interests of the nursing home industry – filed a lawsuit in an attempt to block the newly announced rule.
According to one news report covering the recently filed case, the AHCA and several other nursing home advocacy groups claim that the CMS and the Department of Human Services overstepped their legal mandate in creating the rule. The groups seek to have the rule removed so that nursing homes that implement binding arbitration clauses can once again receive federal funding.
Nursing home advocates claim that arbitration benefits residents and their families because it enables the inexpensive resolution of claims. By some estimates, arbitration can reduce the cost of litigation for nursing homes by 30-35%. By decreasing the costs associated with defending a claim, the argument goes, nursing homes are more willing to offer fair settlement terms to injured residents and their families.
However, patient advocates disagree, citing research that arbitration often is resolved in favor of the nursing home. With arbitration clauses, nursing homes are able to select the arbitration company of their choice, effectively hand-picking the forum that will hear future cases against the nursing home. Patient advocates argue this leads to unfair results because the arbitration panels that are selected are often biased in favor of the nursing home. This discourages litigation and allows nursing homes to confidently offer low settlements, knowing that if the offer is rejected, the nursing home stands a good chance in front of the arbitration panel.
Maryland Nursing Home Lawsuits
In Maryland, nursing home management is responsible to maintain a safe environment for their residents. Similarly, nursing home employees have a duty to provide a certain level of care to residents. When a nursing home employee neglects or abuses a resident, or nursing home management fails to create a safe environment for its residents, liability may arise. Nursing home residents and their families can pursue compensation for injuries or a wrongful death through a nursing home abuse lawsuit. A dedicated nursing home negligence and abuse attorney should be consulted prior to filing any lawsuit.
Has Your Loved One Suffered in a Maryland Nursing Home?
If you have a loved one who has recently been injured or killed due to the negligence or abuse of a nursing home employee, you may be entitled to monetary compensation through a Maryland wrongful death or personal injury lawsuit. This may even be the case if you or your loved one signed a contract containing an arbitration clause. Not all arbitration clauses are valid, and in some cases, a dedicated personal injury attorney can show a court why an arbitration clause should not be enforced. Call 410-654-3600 to set up a free consultation with a dedicated Maryland nursing home negligence and abuse attorney.
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.