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Sunday, October 2, 2016

Nursing Home Arbitration Soon to End?

A new federal rule bars any nursing home that receives federal funding from requiring that its residents resolve any disputes in arbitration, instead of court. Many nursing homes receive Medicare and Medicaid funding so the rule will affect nursing homes with 1.5 million residents, according to the NY Times.

The rule is by the Department of Health & Human Services Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

While nursing home arbitration agreements tend to raise all the issues raised by other adhesive agreements--plus more due to the importance of the contract compared to, say, a cellphone's--they are nevertheless agreements.

The Times unfortunately perpetuates its distorted coverage of arbitration by implying that arbitration necessarily "stymie[s] the families of nursing home residents from getting justice." One would need to know arbitrators' rulings in particular cases, and know the facts and law of the cases, to develop an informed view of the extent to which justice was done in those cases. Same with cases ruled on by judges and juries in court.  

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