As a general rule, the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act requires medical providers to submit their bills to the workers’ compensation insurance carrier on the correct forms. Again, the usual rule is that the workers’ comp insurance carrier is not required to pay bills until they are submitted on the proper forms (and until supporting documentation is provided).
A recent decision by the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania, however, confirms the beliefs of us Pennsylvania workers’ compensation attorneys, who feel this technical step is not always necessary. In Shelton v. WCAB, decided by the Court on June 26, 2008, the workers’ compensation insurance carrier was ordered to pay medical bills even though the bills were not submitted on the proper forms.
In this case, the Court drew a distinction between the situations when the claim has already been accepted as opposed to one where there has never been liability of the workers’ compensation insurance carrier established. When the liability of the workers’ compensation insurance carrier has not yet been established, then bills must be on the proper forms. When we are dealing with an accepted claim, then this technicality may not be necessary.