The Third Department, reversing the Workers’ Compensation Board, determined the Board did not explain its decision to deny coverage of 25 medical bills based on the conclusion the bills did not relate to claimant’s medical condition:
Although, “the Board has the exclusive province to resolve conflicting medical opinions” and to evaluate medical evidence before it, and its factual determinations on causal relationship will not be disturbed if supported by substantial evidence in the record, its decision here fails to indicate what medical opinions or reports formed the basis for the conclusions reached regarding causal relationship … . It is further noted that many of the bills or supporting records include multiple diagnoses and charges, with some of the diagnoses appearing to match the established conditions, such as treatment for a urinary tract infection. No basis is provided for denying compensability for portions of the bills related to established conditions, i.e., for denying payment for the entire medical bill based upon the inclusion of non-compensable treatment in the bill or records.
By failing to provide the reasons for its rulings or the basis upon which the determination was made, the WCLJ [Workers’ Compensation Law Judge] and the Board “failed to satisfy [their] obligation to provide some basis for appellate review” … . Matter of Sequino v Sears Holdings, 2022 NY Slip Op 04070, Third Dept 6-23-22
Practice Point: When the Workers’ Compensation Board fails to adequately explain its denial of coverage for medical bills it concluded were not related to claimant’s medical condition, appellate review by a court is not possible and the matter must be remitted.