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04/22/97 DONNA SHAFFER v. WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION

April 22, 1997

DONNA SHAFFER, PETITIONER
v.
WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION APPEAL BOARD (AVON PRODUCTS, INC.), RESPONDENT



Appealed From No. A95-3578. State Agency Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board.

Before: Honorable Joseph T. Doyle, Judge, Honorable Dan Pellegrini, Judge, Honorable Samuel L. Rodgers, Senior Judge. Opinion BY Judge Doyle

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Doyle

OPINION BY JUDGE DOYLE

FILED: April 22, 1997

Donna Shaffer (Claimant) appeals an order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board (Board) which affirmed a Workers' Compensation Judge's (WCJ) order denying Claimant's Penalty Petition, brought against Avon Products, Inc. (Employer) for late payment of Claimant's medical bills. This case presents the question of whether Section 306(f.1)(2) of the Workers' Compensation Act, *fn1 as amended in 1993, *fn2 can be applied to medical bills which were already reduced to judgment by a WCJ's order. Section 306(f.1)(2) provides, in relevant part:

Any provider who treats an injured employee shall be required to file periodic reports with the employer on a form prescribed by the department which shall include where pertinent, history, diagnosis, treatment, prognosis and physical findings. The report shall be filed within ten days of commencing treatment and at least once a month thereafter, as long as treatment continues. The employer shall not be liable to pay for such treatment until a report has been filed.

77 P.S. § 531(2).

The facts are as follows. On July 31, 1987, Claimant was injured in the course of her employment when she tried to lift her suitcase from the floor to the bed at a hotel where she was attending a conference. This injury was the subject of several hearings and some negotiations and, on January 13, 1992, the WCJ approved a Commutation Petition that provided, inter alia, that Employer would pay Claimant's ongoing medical bills for post traumatic stress treatment and various modes of temporomandibular joint therapy.

A dispute arose between Claimant and Employer regarding the payment of those bills and Claimant filed a Penalty Petition which was heard before a WCJ on February 2, 1994. The WCJ granted Claimant's Penalty Petition and ordered Employer to pay the work-related medical bills. The relevant portions of the WCJ's opinion and order reads:

7. Between January 13, 1992, and continuing through the present, Claimant has repeatedly submitted all of the aforementioned medical expenses to Defendant.

8. Defendant has paid some of the bills in question and has refused to pay others. With some of the providers in question, Defendant has paid part of the bills and has left other parts of the bills unpaid.

9. As of June 2, 1993, the unpaid balances billed to the Claimant by the medical providers named in paragraph 6 above are as follows:

Dental Health Associates $555.00

Mary Louise Marley $420.00

R.S. Mathews, M.D. ...


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