For Immediate Release
Trump Proposal Would Endanger the Health and Safety of Nursing Home Residents
Fair Arbitration Now Coalition Leads Week of Action to Protect Seniors
WASHINGTON - More than 75 organizations in the Fair Arbitration Now (FAN) Coalition are leading a week of action aimed at stopping the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) from reversing critical protections for nursing home residents harmed by mistreatment and legal violations. CMS is seeking public comment by Monday, Aug. 7 on its plans to weaken the rule.
Last year, the Obama administration issued a rule prohibiting forced arbitration “rip-off clauses” in nursing home contracts. These clauses deny residents access to the courts to seek compensation for fraud, abuse or neglect – instead forcing them to seek redress before corporate-friendly arbitrators, with hearings that are held in secret and biased against residents, and offer few grounds for appeal.
Nursing home admissions can be a stressful and confusing time for seniors and their families, who are in no position to evaluate the coercive fine-print terms in contracts. Nor are they likely to appreciate the important constitutional rights they are giving up by entering into a forced arbitration agreement or walk away from the contract if they object to provisions intended to rip them off.
The Obama administration rule was a major step forward for nursing home residents’ rights to hold abusive nursing homes accountable.
The attempted reversal by the Trump administration would hurt nursing home residents and their families at a time when they are already vulnerable. FAN joins the organizations standing up this week to demand that the administration reverse course.
Public Citizen is a national, nonprofit consumer advocacy organization founded in 1971 to represent consumer interests in Congress, the executive branch and the courts.