|Certified Medical Examiners Registry
by David Owen
On May 21st, 2014, The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) rolled out its Certified Medical Examiners Registry which impacts every CDL holder in the country and every company who employs CDL holders, in that only registered CME’s can perform a DOT medical examination and provide drivers with the medical clearance to perform their jobs.
This program has created some challenges for many NASTC members.
Some of these include:
1) Many rural, small town doctors who have been performing this function have chosen not to be certified and put into the registry. Since almost all NASTC members are outside the beltway in rural America, your drivers’ choices are literally few and far between.
2) Many of the CME’s in the registry were erroneously trained to use STOP-BANG protocol in qualifying drivers for obstructive sleep apnea. Though Congress forced FMCSA to take down their guidance on apnea, many of the CME’s are associated with sleep labs and quite frankly are issuing 90-day cards and over prescribing sleep studies and C-PAP therapy.
3) Many of the CME’s are located in urban areas and are logistically non-over-the-road friendly with long wait times , no truck parking, and generally not well equipped to handle the needs of a long haul driver.
NASTC has created a Certified Medical Examiner directory as a top-drawer reference to address these problems and have selected the providers in this directory accordingly. Eventually, this network will dovetail to accommodate over-the-road physicals, screening and confirmation tests for apnea and hypopnea, and post-accident drug screens for our companies. We want to emulate our Quality Plus Fuel Program by “focusing” these activities into a small number of providers and by doing so, earn special pricing and red carpet treatment for your drivers.
We ask you as a company owner to assist your drivers and start getting them into these locations while under dispatch. NASTC is eager to be involved in making this process convenient, time-sensitive, and medically logical. This represents a key first step in the development of NASTC’s Sleep Apnea Solution.
Please call me or Skip Williams, our Director of Driver Wellness, at 800.264.8580 with any questions.