© Dzmitry Skazau | Dreamstime
Medical Exam Notice

Regulatory Update: FMCSA Sets Deadline for Missing Medical Reports

Aug. 27, 2021
Many reports are still outstanding after four-year-old computer hack.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has told approximately 14,000 medical examiners (MEs) that they must file the missing results of truck driver exams conducted during a nine-month period between December 2017 and August 2018 by no later than Sept. 30.

Impacted are commercial vehicle driver (CMV) physical qualification examination results that should have been filed during the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners (NRCME) website outage which took place from Dec. 1, 2017, through Aug. 13, 2018, when upload functionality was fully restored.

In 2018, the agency announced that the attempted hack of the registry website had been unsuccessful and no personal data had been exposed or lost.

However, a significant number of healthcare professionals have not yet uploaded the results from examinations they conducted during the outage, something that was noted and criticized in a January report from the Department of Transportation Inspector General. That report estimated that a total of 780,000 reports overall were still outstanding, including those that were not filed during the registry outage.

Under federal regulations, since a June 2018 revision, MEs have been required to report the results of all CMV drivers’ physical examinations conducted (including the results of examinations where the driver was found not to be qualified) to FMCSA the next calendar day after the exam takes place.

After the National Registry outage occurred in December 2017, the website was up and accepting reports in June 2018, but full functionality for all reports to be filed by all those who are expected to do so—including Medical Examiner Administrative Assistants and Third-Party Organizations—was not restored until the following August.

During the outage, FMCSA encouraged MEs to continue conducting physical qualification examinations and issuing Medical Examiner’s Certificates to qualified CMV drivers. They also were informed that they should segregate all examinations completed during the outage and be prepared to upload them to the National Registry system when it was back online and operating normally.

When some functionality was restored in June 2018, the agency also informed medical review officers that it was still not requiring MEs to immediately upload results of the examinations conducted during the National Registry outage and that it would allow additional time to upload the exam results.

FMCSA says it is aware that while many MEs have submitted exam results while the National Registry was offline, others still have not done so, estimated to number in total about 14,000. This includes certified MEs who were uploading exams as of Dec. 1, 2017, when the registry was taken offline, who have successfully migrated their registry account and who have been using the interim registry system.

“This activity demonstrates that they have continued to conduct physical qualification examinations, but may not have uploaded results,” FMCSA said. Therefore, FMCSA informed MEs who have not yet submitted results of exams conducted during the registry outage to report the outstanding results through their National Registry account or by a designated medical examiner administrative assistant or third-party organization no later than Sept. 30.

Due to the cyberattack and DOT inspector general’s criticisms, FMCSA is engaged in rebuilding the national registry website, and in April announced an extension of the project to 2025. However, in the meantime medical examiners are expected to continue filing the required examination reports with the agency.

In addition, drivers also are expected to make sure that their medical exam certificates are submitted to state DMV offices. Failure to do so can mean they will have their commercial driver licenses (CDLs) suspended or revoked.

The number of FMCSA-certified medical examiners in the registry totaled more than 70,000, an agency spokesperson said last April. Since 2015, more than 500,000 applicants applying for or renewing their CDLs and learner’s permits have been determined to be medically unqualified, according to the agency. It has been estimated that about 5.5 million medical examinations take place each year.

Sponsored Recommendations

ISO 45001: Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems (OHSMS)

March 28, 2024
ISO 45001 certification – reduce your organizational risk and promote occupational health and safety (OHS) by working with SGS to achieve certification or migrate to the new standard...

Want to Verify your GHG Emissions Inventory?

March 28, 2024
With the increased focus on climate change, measuring your organization’s carbon footprint is an important first action step. Our Green House Gas (GHG) verification services provide...

Download Free ESG White Paper

March 28, 2024
The Rise and Challenges of ESG – Your Journey to Enhanced Sustainability, Brand and Investor Potential

Work Safety Tips: 5 Tactics to Build Employee Engagement for Workplace Safety

March 13, 2024
Employee safety engagement strategies have become increasingly key to fostering a safer workplace environment. But, how exactly do you encourage employee buy-in when it comes ...

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of EHS Today, create an account today!