Nursing homes are facilities that are supposed to provide our loved ones with needed care. Finding the right nursing home is not an easy task. Meeting the criteria needed for your loved one and finding an opening within a desired facility are common obstacles. Once the right home and an opening is found, residents and loved ones may not push back against requirements listed in the admission contract.
One such requirement is under scrutiny by the federal government. This requirement deals with arbitration clauses.
What is an arbitration clause? An arbitration clause is a provision within the contract that requires disputes be handled through arbitration as opposed to taking the conflict to court.
Arbitration generally involves the victim, the accused and a third party that hears the claims and makes a decision. Critics of the system voice concerns that it favors nursing home facilities.
Why is the federal government pushing back against these provisions? One of the benefits of the arbitration process is the fact that it is private. As a result, safety issues that arise in these facilities are not public knowledge.
This means those looking for the right nursing home for their loved ones may not be getting the full picture. Issues about safety and quality of care may be hidden behind the legal protections of the arbitration process.
What steps were taken? A recent report by the New York Times discussed the changes, noting that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, an agency that is part of the Health and Human Services, issued a rule that bars nursing homes receiving federal funding from requiring residents to sign these arbitration agreements.
The goal is to better ensure that these residents retain their right to take those who may be guilty of abuse or negligent care to court.
What can loved ones and residents in nursing homes learn from the new rule? This move highlights the importance of vigilance. Loved ones should take note of any concern that residents within these nursing homes are suffering from abuse or neglect.
If abuse or neglect is suspected, remedies are available. This rule aims to better ensure that victims can hold their abusers accountable through legal recourse.