Court rejects arbitration ban

Share this content:

A federal court in November granted the American Health Care Association's request for an injunction of the ban on pre-dispute arbitration agreements, despite believing the ban was “based upon sound public policy.”

Judge Michael P. Mills of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi said AHCA's request for the injunction, filed as part of the provider group's lawsuit challenging the ban, put the court in an “undesirable position,” but ultimately raised important legal questions about the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' authority.

“As sympathetic as this court may be to the public policy considerations which motivated the Rule, it is unwilling to play a role in countenancing the incremental ‘creep' of federal agency authority beyond that envisioned by the U.S. Constitution,” Mills wrote.

AHCA officials said they were pleased with the injunction since it prevents the “real harm to providers” that could have occurred if the ban had taken effect Nov. 28 as planned. It was not clear at press time what next steps the administration would take, if any.