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FMCSA publishes DRAFT of the Medical Examiners Handbook (MEH)

The updated draft of the Medical Examiner’s Handbook released for comment. This is your chance to weigh in.

Posted August 19, 2022

FMCSA published in the Federal Register a draft version of the revised Medical Examiner’s Handbook (MEH) and changes to Appendix A to Part 391 on August 16, 2022.

The DRAFT version of the MEH is at the following URL which can be pasted into a browser:

Comments can be entered through September 30, 2022, at the following URL:

The MEH provides the regulatory requirements and the best practice medical guidance for certified medical examiners to consider when making a medical qualification determination for commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers.

Also proposed, is a significantly updated and streamlined version of Appendix A to Part 391, which contains guidance by qualification requirement from Section 391.41(b).

An example of streamlining is the “Respiratory Dysfunction” Section 391.41(b)(5) guidance which was covered in three longer paragraphs is proposed to read:

“Many conditions interfere with oxygen exchange and may interfere with the ability to control and drive a commercial motor vehicle safely. These include, but are not limited to, emphysema, chronic asthma, carcinoma, tuberculosis, chronic bronchitis, and obstructive sleep apnea.

If the medical examiner detects an undiagnosed or inadequately treated respiratory dysfunction, that in any way is likely to interfere with the driver’s ability to safely control and drive a commercial motor vehicle safely, the medical examiner should confer with the treating provider, or the driver should be referred to a specialist for further evaluation and therapy.”

Where “should” appears, the recommendation previously stated “must” be referred to a specialist.

Certified medical examiners, carriers, and drivers should review the proposed guidance before the comment period closes on September 30, 2022.

This article was written by Mark Schedler of J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc.

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