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    Arbitrations in the Nursing Home Context More Frequent

    September 15th, 2009

    Arbitrations in the nursing home context  are popping up more and more as clients who have had loved ones abused come to me for advice.  The problem arises because many admission contracts for nursing homes have arbitration provisions in them providing that if a dispute occurs between the resident and the nursing home that such dispute automatically gets resolved by submitting the matter to arbitration.  This all sounds reasonable enough until the resident is abused, not fed, beaten by staff (yes folks I really do see this stuff in my office) at which point the most powerful voice becomes a trial in front of a jury to expose the patterns of abuse that led to such a result, often driven by corporate greed in the nursing home industry.  However, if the arbitration provision controls, no trial by jury can be had and the matter is kept from the public view.    Legislation is currently pending in Congress (the Fairness in Nursing Home Arbitration Act) to prevent those problems, and I invite all readers to contact their legislators and ask them to support this legislation.  It really will protect our elderly and hold accountable those who attempt to neglect or harm them.  See the following for more detail:
    GovTrack_ H.R. 1020_ Text of Legislation, Introduced in House
    GovTrack_ S. 512_ Text of Legislation, Introduced in Senate
    Arbitration Bill 2009