Monday, February 12, 2007

Utilization Review Must Name Actual Treating Physician

In Bucks County Community College v. WCAB (Nemes, Jr.), the Employer filed for utilization review of the treatment of a Dr. Files. The Claimant was actually being treated by Dr. Mercora, a physician of the same license and specialty of Dr. Files in the same group. When the utilization review was filed, the Employer did request review of all physicians under the same license and specialty.

The utilization reviewer went ahead and reviewed Dr. Mercora’s treatment and found it reasonable and necessary in part. On a petition to review the utilization review determination filed by the Claimant, the WCJ found the report was invalid and therefore the Employer did not meet its burden to show any treatment was not reasonable and necessary. The Board and the Court affirmed.

The Act and Regulations require that a health care provider under review must be an individual, not a hospital, corporation or group. Multiple physicians’ treatment cannot be reviewed under one request. Accordingly, the Court stated the Employer must file naming the correct treating physician for the utilization review to be valid.

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