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WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION APPEAL BOARD COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA AND WILLIAM H. COLLIER v. OVERMYER MOLD COMPANY AND AMERICAN MUTUAL INSURANCE COMPANIES (07/25/75)

decided: July 25, 1975.

WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION APPEAL BOARD OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA AND WILLIAM H. COLLIER
v.
OVERMYER MOLD COMPANY AND AMERICAN MUTUAL INSURANCE COMPANIES, APPELLANTS



Appeal from the order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board in case of William H. Collier v. Overmyer Mold Company, No. A-68687.

COUNSEL

Herbert Grigsby, with him Ralph A. Davies, and Thomson, Rhodes & Grigsby, for appellant.

William H. Collier and James N. Diefenderfer, for appellees.

John D. Killian, with him Thomas W. Scott and Killian & Gephart, for amicus curiae, Life Fellowship of Pennsylvania.

Judges Kramer, Mencer and Rogers, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Rogers.

Author: Rogers

[ 20 Pa. Commw. Page 457]

This is an appeal by the Overmyer Mold Company and its insurance carrier, from the decision of a referee, affirmed by the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board, directing the employer to reimburse a workmen's compensation claimant, Mr. William H. Collier, the sum of $210 for medical services furnished by a chiropractor.

The facts are not in dispute. Mr. Collier suffered a compensable back injury on November 17, 1972. He first sought the medical attention of one Dr. Joseph Testa, a physician designated by his employer, pursuant to section 306(f) of the Workmen's Compensation Act,*fn1 as amended

[ 20 Pa. Commw. Page 458]

    by Section 12 of the Act of March 29, 1972, P.L. , No. 61, 77 P.S. ยง 531. Believing that Dr. Testa was not alleviating his symptoms, the claimant procured 30 treatments by a chiropractor. Before consulting the chiropractor, the claimant conferred with his employer's personnel manager who testified that he told Mr. Collier that the employer could not prevent his going to a chiropractor but that "he must understand that bills might or might not be paid. Past indications are if 1, 2, 3 visits are given . . . there is generally no . . . objection. However, any[thing] more than that there is mostly an objection."

This is the first case in which we have been called upon to decide the meaning and effect of Section 306(f) since amended in 1972. It now reads pertinently as follows:

"The employer shall provide payment for reasonable surgical and medical services, services rendered by duly licensed practitioners of the healing arts, medicines, and supplies, as and when needed: Provided, That the employe may select a duly licensed practitioner of the healing arts of his own choice, unless at least five physicians shall have been designated by the employer or by the employer and the employe's representative by agreement, in which instances the employe shall select a physician from among those designated. . . . If the employe shall refuse reasonable services of a duly licensed practitioner of the healing arts, surgical, medical and hospital services, ...


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