There is an article in McKnight’s today: Another bill that would prohibit pre-admission arbitration clauses panned by nursing home operators
March 02 2009
U.S. Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-CA) on Friday re-introduced a bill that would prohibit nursing home and assisted living operators from including pre-dispute arbitration clauses in their admissions contracts. Providers wasted no time attacking the bill, just as they have similar legislation in the past.
Providers contend that pre-dispute agreements compel “more timely, less adversarial settlements” by averting lengthy, potentially higher-costing lawsuits. One top nursing home lobbyist said the new bill, the Fairness in Nursing Home Arbitration Act (HR 1237) “needlessly discriminates” against both providers and those in their care.
“Arbitration settlements are quicker and less adversarial than traditional litigation, and many courts throughout America have determined the process to be both fair and appropriate,” stated Dave Kyllo, executive director of the National Center for Assisted Living. “We believe that fair and timely resolution to any legal concerns is in the best interest of the patients, residents, taxpayers and the nation’s entire health care sector.”
Kyllo also called HR 1237 “a misguided attempt to restrict and weaken the Federal Arbitration Act.” Similar anti-arbitration clause bills have been introduced in the House and Senate previously but have never come close to becoming law.
WANT MY TAKE? No one knows they are signing an agreement that they will WAIVE their right to a jury trial. Plus, to file a claim in arbitration may cost $3000 when to file one in your local court will only cost $300…. So is that “avoiding higher costing litigation?”
YES for the nursing home. No for the family.
And if arbitration is so wonderful nursing home industry, why do you often reserve the right to sue for non-payment in local court?