By Remington Gregg, Public Citizen
Moving a loved one to a nursing home can be one of the most difficult things someone will do in their life. Now the Trump administration is trying to make it even harder to shine light on neglect and abuse.
This week, Public Citizen is leading a week of action to oppose a reckless effort by the Trump administration to jeopardize the health and safety of seniors and others living in long-term care facilities, including nursing homes.
Less than a year ago, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) began requiring nursing homes that receive taxpayer funds to stop forcing residents to sign admission’s contracts to waive their legal right to go to court if harmed when they sign admissions contracts. But the new leadership at CMS under Donald Trump is preparing to strip residents of this right.
The rule that is currently in place is essential for protecting residents from forced arbitration clauses. These clauses create a rigged system in which harmed nursing home residents claims are forced into an unfair secretive process. As a result, residents often lack meaningful ability to hold the nursing home accountable for mistreatment and harm, such as infection, amputated limbs, choking, and sexual assault. Admitting a loved one to a nursing home is an emotional, stressful, and confusing time for residents and their families, who may not fully appreciate the critical rights they are giving up by signing a forced arbitration contract. That’s why keeping the current rule in place is so important. Here are some things you can do to make your voice heard:
- You can lend your voice to this cause by signing your name here. Tell policymakers to stand on the side of some of our most vulnerable in society.
- Follow #safeguardseniors on Wednesday from 2-3 pm to join our Twitterstorm and help mobilize people to stand up for seniors.
The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that by 2030, one in every five U.S. residents will be 65 years or older; almost half of these Americans are likely to spend some time in a nursing home. We must stand together to protect the rights and care of frail, at-risk nursing home residents.