Employer's Petition for Review of Surgeries and Medical Treatment Bills

In Body Shop v. Workers' Comp. Appeal Board (Schanz), 720 A.2d 795 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1998), the claimant was receiving benefits pursuant to an notice of compensation payable (NCP) for a back injury and subsequently underwent several surgeries to treat his injury. The employer failed to pay for the surgeries and any related treatment without filing a petition for review of those bills. Consequently, the claimant filed two petitions: a petition to review medical treatment and/or billing, and a petition for penalties for violating the Act. Following hearings, the Workers' Compensation Judge (WCJ) concluded that the employer failed to demonstrate that the medical expenses incurred in connection with the surgeries were not related to the work injury and that the employer lacked a reasonable basis to contest the payment of such bills. Consequently, the WCJ imposed a penalty and awarded attorney fees. On appeal, we summarily affirmed the award of attorney fees, noting that, "employer's refusal to pay Claimant's medical bills was a violation of the Act, there could be no reasonable contest and the award of counsel fees was also proper." 720 A.2d at 799.