The National Association of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) has joined with other stakeholders to resist a new regulation proposed by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services to allow nursing homes to require residents to enter into an agreement to forego their day in court even before a dispute has arisen. The letter to CMS states:
“The difference between the existing final regulation and the proposed rule is vast. The existing regulation is designed to ensure that a resident enters into an arbitration agreement only if he or she knows what is at stake and has made a conscious decision to choose arbitration. The proposed regulation, on the other hand, would lead to the routine use and enforcement of pre-dispute binding arbitration agreements that were signed when the resident knew nothing of the dispute that ultimately is arbitrated, and signed only because the resident had to agree to arbitration in order to be admitted. “
My experience as a trial lawyer leads me to believe that pre-dispute mandatory arbitration clauses are very unfair in this context. Most importantly, most people have no idea what they are giving up when signing such an agreement. Moreover, residents are under tremendous emotional and sometimes time pressure at the time of admission.
So see the full letter drafted by NAELA, visit: NAELA letter.