The American Health Care Association and four other plaintiffs filed a lawsuit in a Mississippi federal court on Monday seeking to halt implementation of the new CMS rule prohibiting federally funded nursing home facilities from requiring residents to enter into arbitration to settle disputes.
“Congress has thoroughly – and repeatedly – considered whether to regulate or prohibit the use of arbitration agreements between [nursing facilities] and their residents, and each time, Congress has rejected the proposal,” the lawsuit reads. “Yet the Secretary and the Acting Administrator have enacted an Arbitration Rule imposing the very proposed ban on arbitration agreements that Congress has consistently refused to enact.”
The new regulation was released in September in order to make it easier for nursing home residents and their families to sue facilities when they believe they have been neglected or abused. The rule is set to take effect on November 28th.
Consumer advocates argue that nursing home facilities have used these mandatory arbitration clauses to conceal misconduct as disputes are settled out of court.
The four other plaintiffs in the lawsuit are the Mississippi Health Care Association, Great Oaks Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center, Community Care of Vicksburg and Mansfield Long Term Care.