Neil Kurtz, M.D.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ proposal to limit the use of pre-dispute arbitration agreements in skilled nursing facilities created the most angst for providers in 2015, according to the American Health Care Association’s head of government affairs.

But Clifton J. Porter II said he was “cautiously optimistic” that CMS was listening to provider concerns.

Arbitration remains a sticky issue in many states, and those in long-term care are tracking two recent cases. In Perez v. The Fredericksburg Care Co., family members said the facility failed to comply with the Texas Medical Liability Act in using “10-point boldface type clearly and conspicuously stating” the provisions in an arbitration agreement. 

Nursing home chain Golden Living also recently called on the Supreme Court to reverse a previous court ruling that “failed to honor” a federal preference for arbitration.

Golden asserts the Pennsylvania Supreme Court voided arbitration agreements that relied on the now-unenforceable National Arbitration Forum, and said the court’s decision clashes with other federal and state supreme courts. 

“In this case, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court failed to honor the strong federal presumption in favor of arbitration,” the petition reads.