Workers' Comp In-Cites
Welcome to the latest edition of Schaff & Young’s Workers’ Comp In-Cites. Designed to provide our clients with practical insight, Workers’ Comp In-Cites outlines recent developments in Pennsylvania workers’ compensation law and explains how those decisions impact our clients and their cases. Barbara Young, Michael Schaff and the other attorneys at Schaff & Young, P.C. are always available to discuss these cases – or any other questions or concerns you might have. Just give us a call at (215) 988-0090 or send an email to info@schaffyoung.com. We look forward to hearing from you.
Utilization Reviews – Only One Provider Per UR Request
In Bucks County Community College v. Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board (Nemes), the Commonwealth Court has ruled that each Utilization Review request must be limited to one provider. In this case, the carrier filed a UR of Dr. Files “and all other providers under the same license and specialty.” In accordance with the request, the reviewer considered treatment rendered by Dr. Files and by Dr. Mercora, another physician in the same office. The Commonwealth Court ruled that the review was improper because the Workers’ Compensation Act requires that a separate UR request be filed for every physician whose care is being questioned.
Tip: If a claimant is treating with a group of doctors, you must file separate UR requests for each doctor in the practice whose care is being questioned.

February 2007 Edition
Volume 1
Number 2
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Common Law Marriage
In a 2003 workers’ compensation case, PNC Bank v. Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board (Stamos), the Commonwealth Court abolished common law marriage. The legislature then amended the Pennsylvania Marriage Law to provide that no common law marriage contracted after January 1, 2005 would be valid and that the law did not render invalid any common law marriage entered into on or before January 1, 2005. In Costello v. Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board (Kinsley Construction Co.), the Commonwealth Court revisited the issue and ruled that a common law marriage entered into after the PNC Bank decision, but before January 1, 2005, was valid, thereby entitling the widow to death benefits under the Workers’ Compensation Act.
A Workers’ Compensation Judge May Suspend Benefits For the Failure to Attend a Court-Ordered Vocational Expert Interview
Rejecting the argument that the Workers’ Compensation Judge failed to issue a reasoned decision, the Commonwealth Court in Bradley v. Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board (County of Delaware) affirmed a Judge’s right to suspend benefits when a claimant refuses to appear for a Court-ordered vocational expert interview.