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DOT Rule 49 CFR Part 40 Section 40.327 Q&A


§40.327                                                                    09/01
 
QUESTION:
 
If an MRO knows the identity of a physician responsible for determining whether a DOT-regulated employee is physically qualified to perform safety-sensitive duties (e.g., under Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulations for physical qualifications of motor carrier drivers) for another company, can the MRO report drug test result as well as medical information to that physician?
 
ANSWER:
 
• Under §40.327(a), an MRO must report drug test results and medical information to third parties without the employee’s consent, under certain circumstances spelled out in the rule.
 
• Under §40.327(b), a physician responsible for determining the medical qualifications of an employee under an applicable DOT agency safety regulation is a party to whom the MRO is instructed to provide this information.
 
• Consequently, if an MRO knows the identity of such a physician – even if the physician performs this function for a different employer – the MRO would provide the information. The MRO is not required to affirmatively seek out such physicians, however.
 

§§ 40.135; 40.327                                                     01/18

QUESTION:

During the verification interview, the MRO may learn about a legally prescribed medication that would likely make the employee medically unqualified or would likely pose a significant safety risk.  Section 40.135(e) requires the MRO to tell the employee to have his/her prescribing physician contact the MRO to discuss the MRO’s concern about the medication.  If the prescribing physician does not speak with the MRO within 5 business days of the MRO informing the employee to have his/her prescribing physician contact the MRO, the MRO will report the information about the legally prescribed medication to the appropriate third party.  Can the MRO report that information to a third party before 5 business days have elapsed?                                                                   

ANSWER:                                                           

  • Yes, there could be instances where the MRO would not have to wait the 5 business days to report the information, for example:
  • The prescribing physician speaks with the MRO before 5 business days have elapsed and the significant safety risk remains unresolved.
  • The employee expressly declines to have his/her prescribing physician speak with the MRO.
  • If, during the verification interview, the MRO learns of a medical condition or diagnosis that is likely to result in the employee’s being medically unqualified under a DOT agency regulation (e.g, FAA, FMCSA, USCG), the MRO must report that information under the procedures in § 40.327.  The 5-day pause provision in § 40.135(e) is inapplicable.
 
Updated: Thursday, January 4, 2018
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