Arbitration agreement

Nursing home residents are at risk due to the Trump administration’s desire to lift a ban on pre-dispute arbitration agreements, a powerful eldercare lobbying group said this week.

AARP made its pitch to the influential Senate Committee on Finance in a letter sent earlier this month. The group said pre-dispute, binding arbitration is not appropriate where abuse and neglect are at issue.

“We were alarmed that the provisions of the proposed rule would very likely have dangerous and harmful impacts on nursing home residents, as well as their families,” wrote David Certner, legislative policy director in government affairs for AARP.

Long-term care is generally in favor of pre-dispute arbitration clauses, and was cheered by the White House’s support. The Office of Management and Budget is currently reviewing the final rule to reverse the ban, arguing the new rule “strengthens requirements regarding the transparency of arbitration agreements in LTC facilities,” McKnight’s reported last month.  

On average, nursing home claims that were resolved with arbitration closed two months faster, Aon found in a recent analysis.

“We strongly oppose any efforts to ban pre-dispute arbitration agreements in nursing home residency contracts,” Clif Porter, senior vice president for government affairs at the American Health Care Association, told Bloomberg this week. “Arbitration has many advantages and provides benefits for both residents and providers, including being a faster and more efficient process to a resolution.”

Democrats earlier this month also proposed legislation aimed at eliminating arbitration clauses in employment, consumer and civil rights cases, called the Forced Arbitration Injustice Repeal (FAIR) Act.