“Fraudulent Medical Certificates” Spark Audit Of FMCSA’s Office of Medical Programs
Washington, D.C. – In the wake of eight indictments and six convictions as a result of fraud in the medical certification process for commercial drivers since 2014, the Office Of Inspector General (OIG) announced it will be conducting an audit of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) Office of Medical Programs.
In a memorandum by Barry J. DeWeese, Assistant Inspector General for Surface Transportation Audits, to the FMCSA dated February 20, 2019, Mr. DeWeese wrote, “Given the rise in motor carrier fatalities and the significant safety risk posed by fraudulent medical certificates, we are initiating this audit.”
According to FMCSA data, fatalities in crashes involving large trucks or buses grew from 4,397 in 2012 to 4,879 in 2017, an 11-percent increase. DeWeese said the purpose of the planned audit was “to ensure that commercial drivers maintain a valid medical certificate” in order to make certain drivers are “healthy enough to safely operate the commercial vehicle.”
“Given the rise in motor carrier fatalities and the significant safety risk posed by fraudulent medical certificates, we are initiating this audit.” – Barry J. DeWeese, Assistant Inspector General for Surface Transportation Audits
As part of the audit, DeWeese said the OIG will be analyzing FMCSA’s procedures for: (1) oversight of its medical certificate program, including commercial driver medical certificate data quality, and (2) validating information in its National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners.
The audit was to begin immediately at FMCSA headquarters in Washington D.C.
About FMCSA’s Medical Certificate Program
FMCSA’s Office of Medical Programs requires commercial drivers with a commercial driver’s license (CDL) to submit a current medical examiner’s certificate to State driver licensing agencies. A U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) physical exam for commercial driver medical certification is valid for up to 24 months.
In January 2015, FMCSA established a database to receive digital copies of medical certificates directly from medical examiners. In addition, FMCSA is implementing a process for States to receive medical certificate information directly from DOT. FMCSA maintains a list of all physicians and other medical professionals authorized to conduct medical examinations and certifications of CDL holders in its National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners.