On October 11, 2007, the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court ruled that attorney fees must be granted in a case where an employer unreasonably contested workers’ compensation bills on the basis of a “false statement of law”. In Delarosa v. WCAB (Masonic Homes), the defendant employer refused to pay bills for the claimant’s psychotherapy treatment contending that such bills were ONLY compensable when the treatment in question was prescribed and/or supervised by a licensed psychiatrist or psychologist. In Delarosa, the psychotherapy was prescribed by the claimant’s treating orthopedic surgeon. The defendant employer took the position that an orthopedic surgeon was not legally capable of either prescribing or supervising the claimant’s psychotherapy treatment. The Commonwealth Court disagreed. The Court held that the orthopedic surgeon was a “licensed practitioner of the healing arts” and, as such, the orthopedic surgeon could prescribe and supervise the psychotherapy treatment.
Thomas P. Cummings, Esq.