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Arbitration Rule Rollback Is a Giveaway to Corporate Nursing Homes, Puts Seniors at Greater Risk

Statement of Remington A. Gregg, Counsel for Civil Justice and Consumer Rights, Public Citizen’s Congress Watch Division

Note: Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final rule stipulating that it will no longer prohibit nursing homes from forcing a resident into arbitration if they have a dispute with the nursing home. As a result, nursing homes can enforce agreements in which residents sign away their right to access the court system if they are injured or harmed.

This shameful move by the Trump administration puts the interests of nursing home corporations before residents – the people who need our protection the most. Nursing home residents are among our most vulnerable citizens. Forcing them into secretive arbitration proceedings will allow systemic problems in nursing homes to go unaddressed and remain hidden from public scrutiny.

Reversing commonsense safeguards that would hold the multibillion-dollar nursing home industry accountable for providing quality care and protecting residents’ access to justice is unconscionable. Instead of protecting vulnerable seniors, the Trump administration is giving nursing home corporations a Get Out of Jail Free card.