Thomas W. Scott, Killian & Gephart, Harrisburg, for appellant.
Ralph A. Davies, Thomson, Rhodes & Grigsby, Pittsburgh, Linton L. Moyer, James N. Diefenderfer, Allentown, for appellee.
Jones, C. J., and Eagen, O'Brien, Roberts, Pomeroy and Manderino, JJ. Nix, J., did not participate in the consideration or decision of this case. Jones, former C. J., did not participate in the decision of this case. Pomeroy, J., filed a concurring opinion.
Section 306(f) of The Pennsylvania Workmen's Compensation Act, Act of June 2, 1915, P.L. 736, as amended, 77 P.S. § 531, provides for payment by the employer for ". . . reasonable surgical and medical services, services provided by duly licensed practitioners of the healing arts, medicines, and supplies, . . ." made necessary by a work related injury to an employee. On November 17, 1972, while in the employ of appellee, Overmyer Mold Company, appellant, William H. Collier, suffered a work-related injury to his lower back. Following his injury, appellant consulted one Dr. Testa, a physician engaged in the general practice of medicine, who had been designated by appellee as one of five authorized treating physicians in accordance with Section 306(f) of the Workmen's Compensation Act.
After three visits, Dr. Testa told appellant that he could not do him any good, and that appellant should seek work involving less strenuous physical exertion.
Appellant then consulted one Dr. Andrew Krupar, a Doctor of Chiropractic, and after a three month period of treatment, was sufficiently recovered from the effects of the November 17, 1972, injury that he was able to return to his previous job without any disability or other problem.
When appellant presented the chiropractor's bill to appellee, payment was refused. Appellant then filed a claim with the Bureau of Workmen's Compensation seeking reimbursement. A hearing was held before an appointed Workmen's Compensation Referee who concluded that the $210.00 chiropractor's fee was a legitimate medical expense incurred as the result of a work related injury within the meaning of the Workmen's Compensation Act, and that appellee was therefore liable under Section 306(f) for its payment.
Appellee appealed the referee's decision to the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board (Board), which affirmed that decision in an opinion dated November 26, 1974. Appellee then appealed to the Commonwealth Court, argument was held before a three judge panel, and a decision and opinion was filed on July 25, 1975, reversing the decision of the Board and denying appellant's request for compensation. Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board v. Overmyer Mold Co., 20 Pa. Commw. 456, 342 A.2d 439 (1975). We granted appellant's petition for allowance of appeal, and this appeal followed.
Appellant presents several arguments in support of his contention that the Commonwealth Court's decision was in error. Because we agree with appellant that Section 306(f) of the Workmen's Compensation Act requires appellee to pay the ...