Franken: Proposal to lift nursing home arbitration ban 'misguided'

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A proposal that could reverse a federal ban on pre-dispute arbitration agreements in nursing homes would be a “misguided decision” on the part of the administration, according to Sen. Al Franken (D-MN).

The proposal, which would revise arbitration agreement-related requirements for long-term care providers, is currently pending review and was slated for official publication by the White House Office of Management and Budget on Tuesday, a spokesman for Franken told McKnight's on Monday. The proposal was submitted by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services last Wednesday.

Until last year, many long-term care contracts were riddled with fine print that prevented residents and families who were wronged from seeking justice in court,” Franken, an outspoken opponent of arbitration agreements, said in a statement released Thursday.

“But now the Trump Administration is planning to lift the ban on nursing home arbitration clauses, which would be terrible for consumers,” Franken said.

Franken stated that he plans to “fight back against this misguided decision” in support of nursing home residents and their families. He authored a bill introduced in March that would ban any arbitration agreements made before employment, consumer or civil rights disputes arise.

The new CMS proposal follows an appeal of an injunction of the arbitration ban filed by the agency in January.