North Carolina Department of Justice
North Carolina Department of Justice
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Attorney General Josh Stein Acts to Protect Patients in Nursing Homes and Long-Term Care Contracts

Release date: 8/8/2017

(RALEIGH) Attorney General Josh Stein today urged the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to maintain its rule prohibiting pre-dispute arbitration clauses in nursing home and other long-term care contracts. 
 
“The decision to move yourself or a family member into a nursing home or long-term care facility can be challenging and emotional,” said Attorney General Stein. “If something goes wrong, you should have the right to your day in court. I urge CMS to maintain its rule, which protects some of the most vulnerable people in our communities.”
 
In October, 2016, CMS issued its final rule, prohibiting the use of pre-dispute arbitration clauses. Later that month, the American Health Care Association and a group of affiliated nursing homes filed suit against the regulation and received a preliminary injunction against enforcing the rule. Despite enjoining the rule, the judge called arbitration for nursing home residents “inefficient and wasteful” and suggested CMS could have succeeded if it had included additional facts in the official record.  On June 7, 2017, instead of building that record, CMS proposed reversing the rule and allowing long-term care facilities to force their patients to arbitration – which is why Attorney General Stein is taking this action.
 
Attorney General Stein’s comment is also signed by attorneys general from California, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Vermont and Washington.
 
A copy of the comments is available here.

Contact:
Laura Brewer
(919) 716-6484

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