For years, healthcare and nursing home corporations have been allowed to lie, cheat, and steal from healthcare patients, evading crucial consumer protections laws, without ever being held accountable. By hiding arbitration provisions in applications and admission documents, businesses are allowed to bypass the court system, denying people their constitutional right to go to trial, and frequently prevent consumers from having a grievance or claim adequately addressed.
Forced arbitration is among the most serious threats to the American justice system, having denied justice to countless victims at the hands of large corporations. Recently, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) brought these abusive practices to light with the release of its study investigating forced arbitration in the context of financial services and products. Americans are routinely having their rights eliminated by these provisions when applying for credit cards and student loans, buying cell phones, and purchasing insurance. However, these same arbitration provisions can be found in numerous other contracts, including healthcare and nursing home agreements when people admit a loved one into a nursing home or rehabilitation facility.
The problem with arbitration provisions is that the results often favor businesses. The result is not surprising; where businesses select arbitration as the only available method for resolution of disputes, it should be a red flag to anyone that the process is not fair to the consumer. As the LA Times points out, “It’s bullying, pure and simple.”