Is Medical Treatment Reasonable and Necessary If It Does Not Cure but Is Palliative In Nature ?
In Trafalgar House & St. Paul Fire & Marine Ins. v. Workers' Comp. Appeal Bd. (Green), 784 A.2d 232 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2001), the Court reviewed the law in this area and concluded, "Medical treatment may be reasonable and necessary even if the treatment does not cure the underlying injury, so long as it acts to relieve pain and treats the symptomatology, i.e., if it is palliative in nature." Id. at 235.
As the Court noted, if the treatment is not expected to cure the underlying injuries, "The question that remains, therefore, is whether Claimant still suffers from pain and whether Provider's treatment is relieving that pain." Id.
In Trafalgar House, the claimant testified to the pain he was suffering and to the relief provided by the treatment in question.
In addition, the provider testified the treatment he rendered provided the claimant relief from his pain.
The Workers' Compensation Judge (WCJ) found the treatment relieved the claimant's pain.
Accordingly, this Court concluded the Employer failed to meet its burden to prove the palliative treatment provided was not reasonable and necessary.