The Denverchannell.com has an article about Colorado lawmakers prohibiting insurance companies and nursing homes from coercing residents to waive their right to a jury trial in exchange for recieving health care. Excerpts are below:
Rep. Cheri Jahn believes more and more nursing homes are taking advantage of elderly patients and their families by including binding arbitration clauses in their contracts, and she is sponsoring legislation to prohibit the clauses. The arbitration clauses mean that no matter how egregious the treatment, the patient can’t file suit in public court to settle a dispute, Jahn said. The patient can only negotiate behind private doors with an arbitrator chosen by the nursing home, she said.
Jahn said she is drafting a late bill to ban binding arbitration agreements in long-term care contracts. The Colorado Health Care Association, a trade organization representing the state’s nursing homes, is opposed to the bill.
It takes tremendous courage for Rep. Jahn to propose this legislation since she will now be a target for the insurance groups and lobbyists for the nursing home industry. She is my hero of the week!