Nursing Home Pre-Dispute Arbitration Agreements to be Prohibited.

The Department of Health and Human Services final rule overhauling skilled nursing facility prohibits all arbitration agreements at the time of admission. According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, such pre-dispute agreements are "fundamentally unfair" because "it is almost impossible for residents or their decision-makers to give fully informed and voluntary consent to arbitration before a dispute has arisen." Once a dispute arises, a facility and a resident may enter into a binding arbitration agreement so long as several requirements are met including voluntary participation by the resident/decision-maker and resident/decision-maker acknowledgment of understanding of the agreement after the facility fully explains it. For providers with existing pre-dispute arbitration agreements, those agreements will not be impacted by this final rule.

The arbitration portion of the final rule takes effect on November 28, 2016. The complete 712-page rule can be found here,


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