Nursing Home Arbitration Act

The House Judiciary Subcommittee on Commercial Law and Administrative Law just approved the Fairness in Nursing Home Arbitration Act of 2008, moving the Act one step closer to becoming law. The Act prohibits the signing of an arbitration agreement as a prerequisite to nursing home admission.

This bipartisan legislation protects senior long-term care residents from signing away their right to have their case heard by a judge or jury. Nursing homes often require patients to sign mandatory pre-dispute arbitration clauses upon admittance.

The Fairness in Nursing Home Arbitration Act reflects the FAA’s original intent and requires that agreements to arbitrate nursing home disputes be made after the dispute has arisen and not at the time of admittance into the home. While the new Act does not prohibit arbitration, it does prevent a nursing home corporation from forcing residents and their families into arbitration via a non-negotiable contract that was forced on the resident prior to the dispute.

In terms of education on long term care issues this is one piece of legislation you should follow.