In a huge victory for nursing home patients and their families, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has recently passed a rule prohibiting any federally-funded nursing home from requiring its residents to resolve disputes in arbitration rather than being allowed to take their claim to court. This new rule means that more than 1.5 million nursing home residents will regain access to the civil justice system when they suffer injury at the hands of those who were supposed to care for them.
Under the new rule, any nursing home that receives federal funding will lose that funding if they force residents to sign arbitration agreements. The new rule on arbitration came after officials in 16 states and Washington, DC argued that arbitration keeps patterns of wrongdoing hidden from prospective residents and their families.
Prior to this new rule, nursing home residents with claims against their facilities were barred from taking their claims to court and were forced into arbitration with private arbitrators who charged for their services. Many families signed nursing home admissions contracts containing arbitration agreements without even knowing that they were signing away their rights. Consequently, this has allowed nursing homes to keep quality and care issues away from the public eye while also avoiding legal costs. As their profits soar, victims of nursing home abuse and their families have been denied the justice and compensation that they deserve, and systemic safety and health problems have been allowed to continue to plague our nation’s nursing homes.
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Helping Nursing Home Abuse Victims Obtain Justice
Injury and death resulting from nursing home abuse and neglect is a serious and vastly underreported problem throughout the country. It is estimated that one in 20 nursing home residents has been a victim of neglect or abuse, making this new rule a critical safeguard for the health and safety of our nation’s elderly. Unfortunately, abuse and neglect often goes underreported, as elderly residents who are dependent on the care of others may be unwilling or unable to speak up. As our elderly population continues to grow, it is more important now than ever to ensure that nursing homes are remaining compliant with state and federal regulations and that they are held accountable in court when they are not.
If your loved one has been injured in a nursing home, we encourage you to get in touch with an Atlanta nursing home abuse attorney at Pratt Clay, LLC to discuss your legal options. We take an aggressive stance against negligent nursing home facilities and caregivers and fight hard for the compensation our clients deserve. For more information on how we may be able to help you, please contact us to schedule a free case evaluation.