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WSOC_TV Nursing Homes SayBanSuing

WSOC_TV A9: Nursing homes say they should be able to ban suing

Suing Nursing Homes 1-10

If you’ve visited our Facebook page, you likely saw a video about nursing homes and their contracts.

There’s a battle brewing over whether patients in a nursing home should be able to sue if something goes wrong. It’s an issue that you should be familiar with before checking in yourself or a loved one. And you’ll find the crux of it in the fine print of your contract.

Many facilities have language in their contracts that would prohibit you from taking the facility to court if, for example, your loved one was abused or neglected. It requires instead that you submit to mandatory binding arbitration – no exceptions.

But the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services recently reviewed that clause and kicked it to the curb. That means you no longer have to give up your right to having a court and a jury hear and decide- on your claim.

“This rule change is a win for consumers,” said AARP Executive Vice President Nancy LeaMond. “Nursing home residents and their families will now have access to the courts to address misconduct such as neglect, sexual assault and wrongful death.”

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), an agency of the federal government, says the change will improve the care and safety of the nearly 1.5 million residents in 15,000+ long-term care facilities in the United States. Among the other rules changes:

  • Ensuring that long-term care facility staff members are properly trained on caring for residents with dementia and in preventing elder abuse.
  • Improving care planning, including discharge planning, for all residents.
  • Allowing dietitians and therapy providers the authority to write orders in their areas of expertise where allowable by law.
  • Update the facility’s infection prevention and control program

All the new rules took effect on November 29, 2016. But the battle we referenced? The nursing home industry is suing….to keep you from having the right to sue.   So stay tuned. We’ll keep you updated on this case.

In the meantime, if you or a loved one are having care issues with a facility, let us know about it and we’ll see if we can help. You can call us at 704-296-0055 or fill out the “Contact Us” form on this website. There’s no fee for the initial consultation and we’ll do our best for you. If you want to see a video about this issue, please visit our Facebook page.

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