FMCSA Holds Public Meeting On National Registry

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) will be holding a public meeting (dated June 11, 2012) in Washington, D.C. concerning the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners (the “National Registry”).

The FMCSA initially published the National Registry in the Federal Register in April of this year. The National Registry is mostly meant to provide a kind of standard for any kind of healthcare service that happens to test interstate motor carrier organizations. The meeting’s itinerary describes the National Registry as a “rule” that makes it mandatory for all healthcare services and practitioners to go through training and certification and to be subsequently included in the National Registry if said services and practitioners medically test and examine for interstate motor carriers, operators, or organizations. This procedure may be in response to the FMCSA’s past investigations of motor carriers and operators in the last several months in which companies either ignored medical testing of their employees or the tests were done improperly or were incomplete.

Healthcare services and practitioners also had the opportunity in May of this year to apply to the National Registry online in order to be a “test delivery organization” for the overall exam. The “test delivery organization” was cited by the FMCSA to have played a “key role in the rule’s implementation.” Based upon the feedback given by the test delivery organization, the FMCSA attempted to emulate a public/private business relationship. In other words, the FMCSA would be responsible for creating the test. Healthcare services, practitioners, and providers would be responsible to administering the test. Healthcare services would be able to decide at what rate they would charge for the test and possibly scheduling of the test as well. The healthcare services would then give those results to the FMCSA and the FMCSA could then choose whether or not it wants to take action.

The National Register program is meant to encourage healthcare providers to participate in the program in order to have access to the FMCSA’s medical tests. A single, uniform standard for medical testing for interstate motor carriers and operators could have some beneficial results. Not only may it more push for more rigorous testing for motor carriers, it may also provide a single standard in terms of having complete medical records for motor carrier employees. If the healthcare providers charge in a manner that appeals to the motor carriers, there could be an increase in the rate in which motor carriers actually submit their employees for medical testing. With more awareness as to a driver’s medical records, it is possible that roadways across the nation could be safer from a motor carrier or operator’s activities if it chooses to disregard safety requirements.

This especially affects Missouri motorists because motor carriers, operators, or other trucking companies operate within Missouri and across state lines. Disregarding medical tests or examinations can have an adverse effect on semi-truck drivers and could lead to Missouri semi-truck accidents.

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