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 Court Rules In Favor Of Injunction Delaying CMS Implementation Of Arbitration Rule

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi today ruled in favor of an injunction to halt implementation of an arbitration rule by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). The injunction will bar CMS from implementing the final rule that bans pre-arbitration agreements in skilled nursing and nursing facilities.
 
American Health Care Association (AHCA) president and chief executive officer Mark Parkinson says the group is pleased with the outcome. “The court agreed with our argument that imposing a Nov. 28 implementation would have resulted in real harm to providers as well as, we believe, to our residents,” said Parkinson in a statement released today.
“We believe federal law plainly prohibits CMS from issuing this arbitration regulation, and this injunction will halt implementation of the final rule until the court can consider the merits of the case,” he said.
The ruling comes after AHCA filed both a request for a preliminary injunction and a supporting memo regarding the recent ban on pre-dispute arbitration in nursing care centers.
Previously expressing disappointment that that CMS included in the final rule a provision banning all pre-dispute arbitration agreements, AHCA has said that the provision clearly exceeds CMS’ statutory authority and is wholly unnecessary to protect residents’ health and safety.
 
CMS says it has this authority in order to regulate participation in the Medicare and Medicaid programs. In particular, CMS claims that “pre-dispute arbitration agreements have a deleterious impact on the quality of care [under the Medicare and Medicaid programs].”
 
Plaintiffs include AHCA, the Mississippi Health Care Association, Great Oaks Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center, Heritage House Nursing Center, and The Pavilion at Creekwood. The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi heard arguments related to the injunction on Nov. 3 and issued a ruling today.
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