NRCME - Increased Costs with No Results to Show

The results of a survey of commercial motor vehicle drivers conducted by the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) and the Mayo Clinic, indicate a majority of drivers have experienced increased exam costs and insignificant improvements in the exam process, since the 2014 implementation of the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners (NRCME) rule-making.

Over 900 commercial drivers, 300 motor carriers and 1,200 certified medical examiners were surveyed to gauge the industry’s understanding of the Department of Transportation (DOT) physical exam process, and an understanding of the FMCSA regulations and guidance for issuing medical certificates from medical examiners.

Truckers see increased exam costs and no improvements

The survey showed 63% of the drivers experienced increased costs as a result of the new NRCME guidelines, and just 6.2% of drivers reported improved exam quality after the regulation was adopted.

26.6% of drivers reported spending 20 minutes or less with their CME, with 6.5% of those drivers spending 10 minutes or less, what FMCSA indicates is an insufficient time to complete all required processes of a DOT physical.

“The data shows a polarity in the quality of medical examiners,” said Clayton T. Cowl, MD, MS, chair of Mayo Clinic’s division of preventive, occupational, and aerospace medicine. “Those examiners who are performing only minimal examinations may have received substandard training or are not taking their role seriously.”

The entire survey is available for download on ATRI’s website, along with a white paper detailing the findings of the Mayo Clinic’s survey of medical examiners.

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