As of September 16, 2019, nursing homes nationwide can begin asking residents (or their representatives) to sign a pre-dispute arbitration agreement. The Trump Administration reversed a previous prohibition on such agreements in a July 2019 final rule. Although there is ongoing legal action to overturn the Administration’s rule, implementation has not been delayed for the majority of nursing homes nationwide.

Residents and their representatives have certain protections under the new rule. Most importantly, facilities cannot require pre-dispute arbitration agreements as a condition of admission or as a requirement for continued care. Furthermore, residents and their representatives may rescind an agreement to arbitrate future claims within 30 calendar days of signing the agreement.

Consumer advocates believe believe that pre-dispute arbitration agreements are inherently unfair to consumers, especially those experiencing a health crisis and seeking immediate access to care. Therefore, Rothkoff law Group is encouraging residents and their families not to sign these so-called “voluntary” pre-dispute arbitration agreements.