By: Kally Goodwin-Ratzloff, John Hessburg, & William D. Chaklos
Kitch Attorneys and Counselors
As you may have heard, the American Health Care Association, the Mississippi Health Care Association, and three long term care facilities (collectively the “plaintiffs”) filed a complaint against the Secretary of Health and Human Services and Acting Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on October 17, 2016, to challenge CMS’s new arbitration rule.
The complaint seeks an “entry of a declaratory judgment that the Arbitration Rule is unlawful and entry of orders preliminarily and permanently enjoining the Secretary and the Acting Administrator from enforcing the Arbitration Rule when it is scheduled to take effect on November 28, 2016.”
The first part of plaintiffs’ requested relief, the preliminary injunction, was granted yesterday when the Northern District of Mississippi District Court Judge issued an Order granting plaintiff’s request for a preliminary injunction. A copy of the order is available to be read here. The preliminary injunction means that CMS cannot enforce its ban on pre-dispute arbitration agreements starting on November 28 as originally planned. Further, CMS cannot enforce the ban until the Court determines whether the arbitration rule is legal, which it will do at some point in the future after it considers the merits of plaintiffs’ case.
If you have any questions about how this Order may impact your operations, please contact a member of our Post-Acute Care Practice Group.