FMCSA silent on whether CME website was hacked

By Mark Schremmer, Land Line staff writer | Friday, December 29, 2017

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration won’t say whether or not its National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners website had been hacked.

The website, which allows commercial drivers to confirm which doctors are on the national registry to perform Department of Transportation physicals, originally went down on Nov. 30 and didn’t resume its functionality until Dec. 14. However, the site stopped working again on the afternoon of Dec. 15 and still wasn’t fully operational as of Friday, Dec. 29.

FMCSA has failed to provide an explanation as to why the site has been down.

On Wednesday, Dec. 27, Land Line asked the FMCSA if the website had been hacked and if the personal/medical information of commercial driver’s license holders was at risk.

Sharon Worthy, the director of external affairs for the FMCSA, told Land Line that the FMCSA would have a response by Thursday, Dec. 28. When that deadline passed, Worthy told Land Line the FMCSA would respond on the morning of Friday, Dec. 29.

On Friday afternoon, Worthy emailed this response:

“The site is operational, and the information of the carriers of the CDL holders is not at risk.”

The actual website states, “The National Registry has restored some functionality through a new search tool. We are continuing work to restore full services.”

Follow-up questions regarding what was the cause for the site’s outages weren’t returned as of Friday afternoon.

While the agency is still working to “restore full services,” the FMCSA is providing a new search tool to help drivers, motor carriers and state driver’s license agencies verify that a health care provider is certified and listed on the registry.

“To use this search tool, the Medical Examiner’s National Registry number will be required,” the website stated. “Drivers needing to verify a specific provider is certified and listed on the national registry prior to an examination can obtain this number by contacting their health care professional directly. Each Certified Medical Examiner on the national registry is provided a national registry number when registering to become certified to conduct Department of Transportation physical qualification examinations. If the search for a national registry number does not provide a result, it may be that the medical examiner is registered but has not yet completed the process to become certified by FMCSA, and the driver should find a new provider.”

The FMCSA said CMEs can continue to conduct DOT physicals and issue paper Medical Examiner’s Certificates, Form MCSA-5876 to qualified drivers.

“Medical Examiners should segregate all examinations completed during the outage and be prepared to upload them to the national registry system, with no penalties, when it is back online,” FMCSA wrote.

The agency said test centers should hold all test results that need to be transmitted until the system is operational.

Truck drivers who are preparing for a DOT exam can use the OOIDA website to read reviews on certified medical examiners.

 

 

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