​​Legislation introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives that would prohibit long term care facilities from requiring or soliciting residents to enter into pre-dispute, mandatory, binding arbitration agreements would not be positive for patients or providers, according to a statement by the American Health Care Association (AHCA) in opposition to the proposal.

Clifton Porter, IIClifton Porter II, AHCA senior vice president, government relations, said the Fairness in Nursing Home Arbitration Act subtracts a vital option for stakeholders.

“AHCA does not support any bill that aims to ban the use of pre-dispute arbitration agreements. Banning arbitration agreements would eliminate a fair and efficient legal remedy that provides benefits to patients and providers,” he said.

Skilled nursing facilities, Porter added, are just one of many health care providers that use pre-dispute arbitration. “Residents with legitimate claims are awarded reasonable damages, oftentimes equal to the amount that would be awarded under litigation. We strongly oppose efforts to ban this long-used, effective procedure for residents and families to pursue legal recourse.”

The legislation’s authors, Reps. Linda Sánchez (D-Calif.) and Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), said they introduced the bill “to protect the legal rights of elderly Americans.”