The federal government has instituted a rule which will make it easier for victims of elder abuse and nursing home negligence to obtain justice. As the New York Times reports, the decision by the United States Health and Human Services Department this week forbids nursing homes that receive federal funding through Medicare and Medicaid from imposing forced arbitration on its patients.
On February 12, 2015, the federal government announced that it will begin to rate nursing homes more stringently. Nursing homes are rated on a scale of 1 to 5, and the new rules will make it more difficult for a nursing home to earn a 4- or 5-star rating. Thomas Hamilton, the director the group within the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid, which oversees the rating system said, "In effect, [the new changes] raises the standard for nursing homes to achieve a high rating."