Congress is considering the Fairness in Nursing Home Arbitration Act of 2008, which make pre-admission arbitration agreements invalid and unenforceable. The House Judiciary Subcommittee on Commercial Law and Administrative Law just approved the bill and refused amendments which would prevent it from being applied retroactively, among other things.
Specifically, the bill:
…requires that agreements to arbitrate nursing home disputes be made after the dispute has arisen and not at the time of admittance into the home. While the new Act does not prohibit arbitration in nursing home disputes, it does prevent a nursing home corporationâ€”which typically has greater bargaining powerâ€“from forcing residents and their families into arbitration via a non-negotiable contract that was forced on the resident prior to the dispute. The Act also ensures arbitration occurs on a voluntary basis and is not forced.