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Long-Term Care Consumers Family Members Advocates

GROUPS: Sign on to a National Letter Urging CMS to Restore the Ban on Nursing Home Pre-Dispute Arbitration Agreements

All you need to do is enter your information below and submit to us by 5pm ET, Friday, August 4.  Scroll down to read the letter below.  (If you are an individual who would like to sign on, please use this link.)

The federal government has indicated it wants to roll back protections critical to the health, safety, and welfare of vulnerable nursing home residents. After issuing a nursing home rule banning pre-dispute arbitration agreements last October, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has done a complete about-face and is now proposing a new rule to allow the use of pre-dispute arbitration agreements in nursing homes. These agreements require older adults, people with disabilities, and their families to waive their rights to seek legal action in court  before a dispute even arises.  Then, any dispute, even abuse or neglect, and regardless of how egregiously a resident has been harmed, is forced into secretive arbitration proceedings.
These arbitration agreements are presented to prospective residents and their families during the admission process, an extremely difficult and stressful time.  Individuals typically feel compelled to sign because they are under extreme pressure to be admitted, and the implied message is that they must agree or be refused care.
To make matters worse, the proposed government rule would also authorize nursing homes to require potential residents to sign an arbitration agreement in order to be admitted!  This means that individuals must give up their constitutional right to a trial by jury in order to have essential care and a place to live.
Help us send a strong message to CMS that this proposed regulation will hurt residents, who would be better off with no arbitration regulation than the regulation that CMS now proposes.

Read the full letter with footnotes here.

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