Nursing homes renew ardent opposition to arbitration bill

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Bruce Yarwood, AHCA CEO
Bruce Yarwood, AHCA CEO
American Health Care Association President and CEO Bruce Yarwood has reaffirmed his organization's opposition to the Fairness in Nursing Home Arbitration Act. A version of the bill was introduced Thursday in the House of Representatives, about six weeks after a Senate version was unveiled.

Yarwood criticized the bill because, he says, it would increase the likelihood of lawsuits, which would divert scarce Medicaid funding from patient care and toward legal fees.

"Arbitration settlements are quicker and less adversarial than traditional litigation, and many courts throughout America have determined the process to be both fair and appropriate," Yarwood argued.

The bill would call for an end to the use of arbitration agreements as pre-requisites to admission in nursing homes. Sens. Herb Kohl (D-WI) and Mel Martinez (R-FL) originally introduced the same measure in the Senate in early April.