Moran v. McCarthy Flowers, 28 PAWCLR 101 (Pa. W.C.A.B. 2013).
Ruling: The Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation Appeal Board reversed the workers' compensation judge's decision determining that a licensed practical nurse and certified massage therapist was a health care provider for purposes of providing massage therapy to a worker.
What it means: In Pennsylvania, the services of a massage therapist who is not licensed or authorized by the state to provide health care services and who is not supervised by a health care provider are not reimbursable even if the services are prescribed by a health care provider.
Summary: The board reversed the WCJ's finding that the provider, a licensed practical nurse and certified massage therapist, was a health care provider under the workers' compensation statute for purposes of providing massage therapy to a worker. The provider was licensed in Pennsylvania to provide health care services as an LPN and as such met the statute's definition of a health care provider. However, in order for the cost of the services rendered by the provider to be payable, it must be a medical service which the provider is licensed as a practical nurse to provide according to a physician's orders. In this case, there was nothing in the record to support the worker's assertion that massage therapy was within the scope of the provider's practice as an LPN.
Because the provider was not licensed by the state as a massage therapist at the time she was providing massage therapy to the worker, her services were not reimbursable under workers' compensation.
Read more at the WorkersComp Forum homepage.
September 23, 2013
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