New FMCSA Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse Operational January 6

The new Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Commercial Driver’s License Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse will be operational as of January 6, 2020.   The Clearinghouse is a secure online database that will give employers, the FMCSA, State Driver Licensing Agencies, and State law enforcement personnel real-time information about commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders’ drug and alcohol program violations.

Beginning January 6, 2020, employers, or their designated consortium/third party administrators (C/TPAs), will be required to conduct queries to determine whether their current and prospective employees are prohibited from performing in safety-sensitive job positions, such as operating commercial motor vehicles, due to unresolved drug and alcohol program violations.

Employers are responsible for reporting their employee DOT drug testing results to the Clearinghouse, either directly or through a C/TPA.  

Nova Medical Centers is not a C/TPA and does not report testing results to the Clearinghouse.

General DOT Query FAQs

When are employers required to query the DOT Clearinghouse?
Employers are required to make a pre-employment query for each driver in the Clearinghouse and at least one query each year for each driver during employment. The type of query required is further described in the table below.

Is there a reason to query the Clearinghouse more than as required?
Some drivers are employed by more than one carrier. If another employer your driver works for reports a violation to the Clearinghouse, you will not want to wait until their annual query to obtain this information, or you may be liable for allowing a driver to operate in a safety-sensitive position despite his/her ineligibility to do so.

What information will employers need to query specific drivers in the Clearinghouse?
Employers will need to have the driver’s CDL number and state proof of issuance to query the driver’s Clearinghouse record.

Can the employer query multiple drivers at once with batch uploads?
Yes. The employer or the C/TPA will upload a tab-delimited file containing the following information for each driver that will be queried:

  • Last Name
  • First Name
  • Date of Birth
  • CDL
  • Country
  • State
  • A Number 1-4 Representing Query Type: 1) Limited; 2)  Full; 3) Pre-employment; 4) Limited with Automatic Consent Request.

Automatic Consent Request means that, if a limited query returns that the driver has violation information in his/her Clearinghouse record, the Clearinghouse will automatically submit a request from your employer to that driver for his/her consent to a full query.

Do employers still need to query past employers for drug and alcohol violations occurring in the three years before January 6, 2020?

Yes. Only violations occurring after January 6, 2020, will be available in the Clearinghouse, so employers will need to conduct traditional verifications with their drivers’ past DOT-regulated employers in addition to querying the Clearinghouse until January 2023.

What is the cost charged by the FMCSA for queries?
Employers will be charged a fee by the FMCSA for full and limited queries of $1.25 per query (plus any services costs incurred by using a C/TPA). Queries must be purchased in batches, and these will never expire.

Unlimited packages are also available for high-volume employers. Unlimited packages cost $24,000 and must be renewed annually.

Employers must purchase queries directly from the Clearinghouse, as C/TPAs are unable to purchase queries for their customers.

Can drivers dispute information on their Clearinghouse records?
Disputes will be handled by the FMCSA, which will notify drivers of its decision within 14 days if the record in question is prohibiting the driver from performing safety-sensitive job functions or within 45 days if it is not.

FMCSA will notify any employers that have viewed a record that has been changed after the outcome of their review.

When must employers make limited vs. full queries?
Limited Queries
Must conduct a limited or full query at least once every year for all drivers.

Full Queries
An employer must conduct a pre-employment query for a prospective driver in the Clearinghouse prior to hiring the driver for a position requiring him or her to perform safety-sensitive functions, such as operating a commercial motor vehicle (CMV).

Must conduct a full query if a limited query returns any results.

What information will employers receive?
Limited Queries
Notification about whether the driver’s Clearinghouse record has any information about resolved or unresolved drug and alcohol program violations

It does not provide specific information about violations.

Full Queries
Detailed information about any drug and alcohol program violations in a driver’s Clearinghouse record.

Next Steps

To find out more information about the Clearinghouse or to register, please visit https://clearinghouse.fmcsa.dot.gov/

If you have any questions, please fill out a contact form with the subject “Questions about the new Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse” or call us toll-free at 1-866-480-1310.

Game Changing Technology Upgrade to Occuflex

Nova Medical Centers solidifies the lead in occupational health industry with game changing update to our proprietary electronic medical record system, Occuflex.  Our innovative technology will now allow clients to track real-time progress of employee visits and also have access to medical records, results, and progress all from one centralized dashboard. Before the launch of Occuflex update, online reporting was limited. Electronic medical records make communicating with physicians and medical staff faster and more convenient. The system update was designed to improve operation in 3 areas:

Online Reporting – Through Occuflex, clients now have full access to comprehensive reporting of all services.  Previous versions allowed for limited reporting of patient/employee information.  Fast forward to today… no more chasing information or paperwork.  With the latest tech upgrade, everything is available on the same day of service in one, easy-to-use online portal!

Same Day Results* – Waiting days for results is a thing of the past. Clients are able to see updates in real-time through a secure dashboard with a single consolidated view of their claims instantly after completion. Treatment updates on dashboard are color-coded for easier maneuvering. Faster decisions about employees returning to work can be made with same day results.

Speed of Service – Occuflex now makes it effortless to update the progress of visit from the moment patient arrives until they walk out the door. Departments are able to communicate efficiently and less time is wasted.  Completed DOT cards, physicals, drug test results, ADA compliant physical performance evaluation, and injury reports will all be updated in the system as soon as they are completed.

Occuflex enhances the experience of every participant involved in the visitation of an injured employee. From tracking a visit to receiving results, Occuflex gives clients access to medical records at their discretion. Comprehensive, full reporting of all medical records are available at their fingertips.  For more information and for an informative video, visit n-o-v-a.com/gamechanger.

At Nova Medical Centers, we aim to be the best in the industry and are willing to do what it takes to get there. We pride ourselves in our exceptional services and ability to offer our exclusive medical record system, Occuflex.  Contact Us for more information about Occuflex or any of our other service. Our team of experts and friendly staff are here to assist with all your occupational health needs.

Written by Nayda Sanchez

*Some results may take longer due to the type of service or test needed.  Ask a Nova Medical Centers representative for details.

National Physical Therapy Month

Physical therapy plays a critical role in the recovery process of patients who have experienced injury or deformity. Both physicians and patients who have participated in physical therapy know that it is more than just treatment. It is a journey of transformation. American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) established National Physical Therapy Month (NPTM) in 1981 to raise awareness of the life changing benefits it offers to patients. Here are some key facts about National Physical Therapy Month:

  • National Physical Therapy Month is celebrated in October
  • Every year, APTA selects a theme such as lower back pain, posture, balance, fitness and obesity, to be the main focus. This year’s focus is on the #ChoosePT campaign which encourages physical therapist to tout the benefit of choosing physical therapy in lieu of opioid medication
  • A “Day of Service” is designated to give physical therapists an opportunity to engage their communities in activities to promote healthy lifestyles and to spread awareness of the importance of physical therapy
  • Many clinics offer free posture screenings, balance assessments or fun runs
  • 50 Chapter Challenge, Neighborhood blood drives, photo contests, and Miracles Baseball Leagues are some events organized by APTA to make it easier for physicians to get involved during NPTM

Physical therapists deserve recognition for their hard work and dedication to empowering patients to take control of their treatment plans and recovery progress. National Physical Therapy Months allows physicians to spread awareness of the benefits of physical therapy while receiving the appreciation they undeniably earned.

At Nova Medical Centers, our team of highly skilled licensed physical therapy staff is committed to providing the most current treatment to patients. Our program provides one-on-one patient care, which means patients do not share their individual therapy time with multiple patients. We pride ourselves in leading the occupational health industry. Contact us  today for more information about our physical therapy program or any other of our services.

Employment Drug Testing

Drug testing promotes positive work culture

 According to a survey conducted by the Society of Human Resources, 57% of employers implement drug testing to determine if employees or job applicants are using drugs. Employers overlook drug testing because it’s not required by the state they are operating in, it’s too costly or they believe it’s not a viable investment. However, the benefits can be impactful.  Listed below are significant benefits of drug testing:

  • Creating a drug-free environment builds a safe workplace. Performing job functions while under the influence makes it more dangerous for employees and their colleagues. Using heavy equipment or driving a truck requires an employee to be alert; being under the influence will increase the likelihood of injury.
  • Drug screenings in companies has led to an increase of productivity within their employees. Drug problems can cause an individual to lose focus of their responsibilities and their commitment to their employer. Being absent and lack of punctuality are linked to drug use. Eliminating drugs from the equation helps shape a goal-oriented, productive atmosphere.
  • Employers may be eligible for discounts on workers compensation insurance for maintaining a drug-free work place by drug testing workers
  • Drug testing encourages a healthier lifestyle not only at the workplace, but also in employee’s personal lives.

Drug testing can lead to impactful company cultural changes. It is a representation of the restriction of drug use at the workplace and a great way to showcase company culture even before an employee is hired.  Reliable colleagues, motivating leaders, and a supportive learning environment are all desirable characteristics for job seekers.  Implementing a drug-free workplace shows employees that you not only care about their success, but their overall health. It is a key component in protecting the safety, health and welfare of employees.

At Nova Medical Centers  our teams of medical professionals specialize in ADA, DOT, NIOSH, OSHA and other state and regular federal regulations which govern the occupational medicine industry. Our sole focus on occupational health allows us to provide exceptional pre-employment services. We pride ourselves in tailoring our care to every single client. Contact us  today for more information about our pre-employment services.  Our friendly staff and team of experts are here to meet all of your occupational health needs.

Written by Nayda Sanchez

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