New CDC Regulations a Victory for Ensuring the Safety of Nursing Homes
Nursing homes throughout America provide a valuable service to our seniors. Statistics indicate that approximately 1.4 million Americans rely on retirement and nursing homes to provide the care they need as they age. Families trust these homes to protect and keep their loved ones safe.
Unfortunately, it has become all too common for nursing home employees to abuse their power, resulting in devastating injuries to our loved ones. To protect themselves and prevent injured persons from using our Court system to hold them accountable, these nursing homes began inserting arbitration agreements into their contracts. Often, these agreements must be signed in order to even be admitted into the care of the nursing home. What this meant is that the injured person and their families could no longer file a lawsuit to hold them accountable. Instead, they were forced into an arbitration proceeding that do not have the same protections and safeguards as the traditional Court system. Further, arbitration often resulted in smaller settlements and shielded the nursing home from the public eye, which allowed them to potentially continue their harmful business practices
In response to this disturbing trend, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services or CMS recently released new regulations that prevent nursing homes from forcing cases of elder abuse, sexual harassment and wrongful death into arbitration. Ultimately, this makes it much easier for a victim or their family to get justice by allowing more of these cases to be brought to court.
The regulation prevents retirement homes that enter into these damaging forced arbitration agreements to collect Medicare and Medicaid payments, which represent a large portion of their operating income.
This is a huge victory for all victims of elder abuse in nursing homes and future nursing home residents. Most nursing homes are safe, but this new legislation provides an added layer of protection knowing that nursing homes can be held accountable in the traditional Court system.
Have you or a loved one been a victim of elder abuse? At Wendt Law Firm P.C., our experienced legal team will thoroughly investigate your case to determine if you have a claim against the nursing home or one of its employees. Contact us today for a free consultation with our Kansas City nursing home abuse lawyers. We will only receive a fee in the event of a successful resolution of your case.