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AARP Supports Banning Pre-Dispute Arbitration Clauses in Nursing Home Contracts

On September 5th, Ryan Gruenenfelder, Manager of Advocacy and Outreach for the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) Illinois, appeared on Chicago Tonight with Phil Ponce to discuss the organization’s opposition to pre-dispute arbitration clauses in nursing home contracts. Gruenenfelder said that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) sudden support of arbitration clauses for nursing homes is detrimental to the 1.4 residents who currently reside in America’s nursing homes.

‘AARP Wholeheartedly Disagrees’
Gruenenfelder discusses how CMS and nursing home arbitration advocates have referred to claims of abuse and neglect as ‘frivolous lawsuits.’ He cites the recent audit from the Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services that found that Illinois has the highest rate of unreported nursing home abuse and neglect of any state. Gruenenfelder fears that most, if not all, nursing homes will ‘take advantage’ of CMS’s endorsement of arbitration clauses, leaving nursing home residents and their loved ones without the opportunity to choose a facility that does not require them to sign away their constitutional right to sue.

He says that the right to seek redress is a fundamental part of our constitution and that the emotional toll of finding a nursing facility puts a heavy burden on residents and loved ones who are faced with lengthy admissions contracts. Seeing an arbitration clause buried in paperwork while admitting a loved one to a nursing home is an unfathomable concern during such a difficult time.

To watch the interview, please click here.