Arbitration agreements banned under new CMS rule

September 29, 2016

On September 28, 2016, the Health and Human services department issued a new rule barring any nursing home that receives federal funding from requiring its residents to resolve disputes via arbitration instead of in court, effective November 28, 2016. Any facility receiving federal funding will no longer be able to include mandatory arbitration provisions in resident admissions contracts, although litigation will surely challenge the new rule. Other important aspects of the rule include mandates that nursing home providers: 1) provide “nourishing, palatable” dietary options that meet residents’ nutritional needs and preferences, 2) create an infection prevention and control program, and 3) develop a comprehensive, person-centered care plan for each resident within 48 hours of admission. These additional requirements, among others, will be implemented in phases, with the first “phase-in” period to be completed by November 28 of this year, followed by additional phases ending on November 28, 2017, and November 28, 2019. These new rules represent the first major overhaul to U.S. nursing home regulations since 1991.

A PDF of the new CMS rules is on the link below. A detailed timeline regarding the various phases of implementation is found at pages 37-42.

For more information about these important new changes, you may contact Tara Meadows at or at 312-673-7806.

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