Fairness in Nursing Home Arbitration Act returns
March 3, 2009
Representative Linda Sanchez (D-CA) has reintroduced the Fairness in Nursing Home Arbitration Act. This act seeks to ban pre-dispute arbitration agreements, even if the arbitration agreement is not required for admission. The parties could agree to arbitration only after a dispute arises. When the bill was last introduced, and defeated, it included Assisted Living facilities as well as Skilled Nursing Facilities, but the text of the bill’s most recent iteration is not yet available for public review.
Arbitration agreements have been circling back again and again as one of the most contentious debates in LTC Administration. From a legal standpoint, arbitration almost assuredly means faster recovery time, and less cost for both plaintiff’s and defendants alike (or complaintents and answerers in the parlance of some Alternative Dispute Resolution folks).
The at bottom question can be phrased like this: is LTC different from other business such that the only pathway to remedy must necessarily be one through the courts?
Opinions are myriad, but I will be interested to see, and write about, the debate on Rep. Sanchez’ bill.