Democrats seek end to arbitration options

Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) says the good intent of pre-event binding arbitration clauses may be outweighed by the bad. He and others want the pacts outlawed.
Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) says the good intent of pre-event binding arbitration clauses may be outweighed by the bad. He and others want the pacts outlawed.

A group of U.S. Senators is urging an outright ban of nursing home arbitration agreement clauses in pre-admission documents.

The move comes on the heels of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services urging resident awareness of the binding clauses, often signed in times of duress.

A letter signed by 34 Democratic senators, led by Sen. Al Franken (D-MN), said awareness of arbitration clauses are “well-intentioned,” but complicate future disputes and fail to improve safety.

The letter stresses that nursing home residents and their families should enter into arbitration agreements only after an incident has occurred, allowing them to consider all of their legal rights.

The American Health Care Association said it disagrees with the senators' views, noting Congress addressed the topic of arbitration agreements under the Federal Arbitration Act.