The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, an agency under Health and Human Services, recently published a historic new regulation that prohibits nursing homes receiving federal funding from using pre-dispute binding arbitration agreements when dealing with claims involving elder abuse, sexual harassment and wrongful death, among other things. Prior to this new regulation, justice for nursing home residents and their respective families was a difficult pursuit. This is the first time the U.S. Government has ever accomplished anything of this nature and a truly groundbreaking new development. Protection for nursing home residents can now be more easily achieved.
AJMLS Professor Lisa Tripp has written several Law Review articles regarding this exact issue. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services cited two of Professor Tripp’s articles in this pioneering regulation. Additionally, she was quoted in the preamble.
From the preamble, “Tripp notes that ‘residents of nursing homes are frail and elderly people who are completely dependent on the facility and its employees for their safety and health. Thus, many residents and their families would not oppose the arbitration provision because they are fearful of antagonizing the facility.'” This is a positive progression in the arena of elder law. If you see Professor Tripp around campus, be sure to congratulate her on her accomplishment and thank her for her work in advancing universe rights despite age.