The FMCSA’s National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners website is making steps toward regaining full functionality for the first time since suffering a security breach on Dec. 1, 2017.
Commercial motor vehicle drivers can now search for a certified medical examiner and verify that he or she is still on the national registry.
“Work continues to restore the website to full functionality,” FMCSA spokesman Duane DeBruyne said. “One of the first steps was to enable drivers to search for a medical examiner, which is now available. Ongoing work continues.”
On Friday, June 22, the agency notified certified medical examiners that they could log in to the website and begin uploading results of Department of Transportation physicals.
However as of Monday, June 25, many certified medical examiners were reporting problems being able to log in to the site and upload examination results.
“It appears it won’t take any uploads right now,” said Mike Megehee, a doctor of chiropractic and president of Pendleton, Ore.-based Team CME. “I’ve had probably 60 emails reporting problems with the website from our members this morning.”
Certified medical examiners have been able to conduct DOT physicals since the security breach in December, but the nearly seven-month outage has created an enormous backlog of examination results that are waiting to be uploaded. Based on the number of DOT exams conducted in previous years, the backlog is estimated to be approaching 2 million.
Megehee said he knows of at least one doctor who was able to upload some backlogged exam results before running in to complications with the site.
The FMCSA said certified medical examiners will receive extended time to enter the backlogged results.
“We don’t expect medical examiners to immediately upload results of the examinations performed during the national registry outage,” FMCSA said on its website. “Instead, we anticipate publishing a Federal Register notice announcing that medical examiners will have an extended period of time to enter results of examinations performed during the national registry outage without penalties.”
Megehee said there are members of Team CME with a backlog of 2,000 and that it typically requires three to four minutes to submit an individual result.
The national registry website outage also played a role in the FMCSA’s delay of a final rule that would have eliminated the need for truck drivers to carry their medical cards. The rule, which was set to go into effect on June 22, will not be implemented until June 22, 2021.
Truck drivers, who are preparing for a DOT physical, can go to the OOIDA website to read reviews of certified medical examiners.
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