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Enforcement of Arbitration Ban Is Halted

Mississippi residents who have filed suits or plan to file suits against a nursing home for negligent care or abuse should know about a regulation update recently issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The agency has postponed the enforcement of a rule that prohibits nursing home centers from requiring patients to enter into obligatory arbitration agreements in advance of a dispute.

A memo issued to Medicare contractors and states in late 2016 said that the ban would not be implemented until an injunction against the ban gets reversed. The memo also stated that Medicare surveyors will not be auditing the nursing facilities.

In November of 2016, a request submitted in part by the American Health Care Association was approved by a judge in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi. In addition to the industry trade group, the request also included four other local and state health care groups.

The ban had been scheduled to become effective on Nov. 28, 2016. It is uncertain how the incoming presidential administration will address the prohibition of mandatory arbitration provisions in nursing home contracts. However, there have been promises to reduce the regulatory requirements for businesses, and the nursing home industry has objected to the new rule.

The arbitration agreements forbid individuals from filing lawsuits against the nursing homes that provide negligent care to their loved ones. Some families state that there is pressure to sign the contracts.

Residents of assisted living or nursing home facilities are entitled to reasonable standards of care. A personal injury attorney may assist clients seeking fair financial compensation for nursing home neglect. This may entail investigating occurrences of bedsores, head injuries, bone fractures, medication errors and more.