The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid just announced a major ruling on residents’ rights in nursing homes. This ruling will make it easier for nursing home residents and their loved ones to hold long-term care facilities responsible for abuse or negligence.
The ruling, which was announced on Wednesday, 9/28, will prevent nursing homes that receive federal funding from forcing residents and their families to give up their constitutional right to a jury trial if the nursing home later neglected or abused the resident, in order to get the resident admitted into their nursing home. For years, the arbitration process has allowed nursing homes to handle claims of nursing home abuse or neglect outside of a court of law. Advocates for nursing home residents’ rights argued that this system unfairly benefited nursing homes and allowed them to conceal and cover up wrongdoing on the part of their staff.
Nursing homes would often conceal so-called “pre-dispute arbitration agreements” in the fine print of nursing home admissions contracts. In other words, many people that needed to secure nursing care for their elderly loved ones would sign arbitration agreements without realizing they were doing so.
Under the new law, which takes effect in November 2016, families of nursing home residents that are abused, neglected, or who passed away due to unsafe conditions, will be able to sue nursing homes and get their day in court. If nursing homes fail to live up to these standards of transparency, they risk losing their federal funding.
The American Association for Justice (AAJ), which launched a significant lobbying effort to help get this law passed, released a statement on Wednesday calling the ruling “a tremendous step toward protecting nursing home residents by ensuring that they can hold facilities accountable in cases of abuse or neglect.”
Choosing a nursing home or long-term care facility for an elderly loved one is a difficult and deeply personal decision. It is important that both you and your relative feel that you are choosing a facility that will have their comfort, safety and best interests at heart.
If you feel a loved one has been abused or neglected in a nursing home or elderly care facility, and this neglect or abuse caused serious injury or even death, call Henson Fuerst for help. Call 919-781-1107 today to speak with an experienced North Carolina Nursing Home Abuse Attorney absolutely FREE. At Henson Fuerst, we will speak with you for free and help answer any questions you have.
At Henson Fuerst, we understand that this can be a difficult time for you and your family. We will investigate every detail of your situation at no cost to you and fight hard to secure the justice you deserve. Call today or fill out a free consultation form online to find out how Henson Fuerst may be able to help.
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