ARIZONA NEWS

AG Kris Mayes gets nod to eliminate secrecy clauses in assisted living arbitration agreements

Jun 30, 2024, 8:00 PM

Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes announces termination of secrecy clauses used by many Arizona assisted living facilities in arbitration agreements. (Facebook Photo/Attorney General Kris Mayes)

(Facebook Photo/Attorney General Kris Mayes)

PHOENIX — Attorney General Kris Mayes was given court approval on Friday to progress in the elimination of secrecy clauses found within arbitration agreements utilized by several Arizona assisted living agencies, the AG’s office announced.

The consent judgment targeted all facilities run by Bandera Healthcare, a subsidiary of The Ensign Group, Inc.

This latest ruling is the first of its kind since Senita Ridge in February, in which Mayes made a similar plea to Arizona citizens to notify her directly if they witnessed any form of abuse in those assisted living facilities.

Mayes, who is granted the power to intervene in abuse cases by The Adult Protective Services Act, said she is prepared to act but hopes the two judgments persuade other agencies to eliminate their own secrecy clauses.

“This is another important step toward the goal of transparency and accountability for all companies that provide care to our most vulnerable citizens,” Mayes said. “The Legislature gave the Attorney General a vital role in enforcing our statutes against abuse, neglect, and exploitation of vulnerable adults, but I cannot do that job if victims and their attorneys are blocked from notifying me when they learn of abusive practices because of these illegal secrecy clauses.”

Mayes believes that “previous harms” will become a thing of the past as transparency floats to the forefront.

The official consent judgment document can be viewed here.

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AG Kris Mayes gets nod to eliminate secrecy clauses in assisted living arbitration agreements