I know you may not think that the “arbitration clause” portion of a health care contract is a big deal… but if that health care provider has caused pain/suffering to a loved one, then the arbitration clause becomes a HUGE BIG DEAL.
The hospital/nursing home can sue you in the local trial court if you refuse to pay your bill, but if you have signed an arbitration agreement, you do not have the same access to the Courts. And this is great news for companies, such that they are encouraging the use of such contracts.
Read here: A National Arbitration Forum official has just published an article in a corporate magazine urging doctors, hospitals, HMOs etc. to all adopt arbitration clauses. The author states that arbitration provides a more affordable means of resolving health care disputes. For whom? Not plaintiffs. He goes on to state arbitration “increases access to justice” for families. Normally, my clients’ access to justice includes the local court house and jury. So a conference room, far away, with higher fees, limited discovery and limited access to information “increases” my clients’ access to justice.
Wow – that’s a stretch.
I encourage you to read the full article.