Readers of this blog know that I carry a special torch for nursing home residents in general, and for victims of Massachusetts nursing home neglect or abuse in particular. Of the several types of legal wrongs that can bring me to my feet, elder abuse and nursing home patient neglect are among the strongest.
On August 1 2016, I posted that the federal Centers for Medicare Services (CMS) was conducting hearings on changing an especially onerous and unconscionable provision (clause) that is presently in almost all nursing home contracts and long term care facility contracts. That provision is known as a ‘pre-dispute arbitration clause,’ and what is essentially did was to force families and patients who entered nursing homes and long-term care facilities, to agree in writing to this clause, or the patient would not be admitted to the facility. It’s also referred to as “nursing home forced arbitration.” What did this clause – often referred to as a “hammer clause” – mean? It required – on day one, long before any dispute about care of the patient even arose – that the matter be submitted to forced arbitration – instead of the matter being decided in court. Continue reading