Don’t let your TPA get away with this labor-saving MRO shortcut. Otherwise, you could face significant DOT fines for being out of compliance. Here’s what happens and how you can avoid this fate.
Most TPAs do not give their clients access to their MROs. Their main point of contact, in addition to a customer service person, is the MRO assistant – who is usually not a licensed doctor. Some TPAs, looking for ways to save money and limit access to their MROs, allow assistants to do donor interviews. The doctor may sign off on them but he or she doesn’t conduct them.
Why is this a problem?
Because DOT regulations specify that the MRO must do all donor interviews. The reason so many TPAs try to get away with this is that it gives them greater control over the workloads of their MROs. If it can be done by a less expensive person, it saves the TPA money.
This sleight of hand doesn’t usually get caught in a DOT audit. Instead, it gets discovered under a different set of circumstances.
Usually, it comes to light when drivers contest their test results and they mention the person who did their interview by name. If that doesn’t match up with the name of the doctor whose signature is on the interview notes, that raises a red flag and causes the DOT to investigate more closely.
The result can be thousands of dollars in fines and a black eye on your trucking firm’s reputation with the DOT. It can also call into question the integrity of all your company’s driver records in the DOT’s database.
How can you avoid this fate? Ask your TPA who does your donor interviews. Insist that they are conducted by an MRO, not by an assistant.
Access to MROs at Noble Diagnostics
At Noble Diagnostics, all interviews are conducted by one of our four MROs, who have a combined 75 years of experience and expertise. Unlike other TPAs, our MROs are accessible to our clients. One of them is Dr. Kevin Edwards, MD, one of the most respected MROs in the industry.
Each client has a designated Major Account Coordinator (MAC) who responds promptly to their needs, even outside of normal business hours. There are no shortcuts to doing things the right way at Noble Diagnostics.
In addition, Noble’s streamlined testing process ensures that clients have most test results back in 24 to 72 hours. Clients can access them immediately via the company’s Noble Now website and can receive electronic notifications as soon they are posted by the lab. As a result, clients can make employment and hiring decisions faster and with a high level of confidence in the integrity of the results.
Noble also offers a full-time regulatory and compliance team that assists clients with auditing, software, e-learning, drug/alcohol program policy development and review and much more. Our professionals are available via email or phone to answer any program management and compliance questions. They are also available for consulting services and audit support.
Why expose your company to potential DOT violations and fines? Make sure your TPA is complying with all applicable regulations when conducting donor interviews and tests.
If you’re not sure how they are being conducted, ask your TPA. If you still have questions about the integrity or reliability of the reports you’re receiving from your TPA, perhaps it’s time to make a change.
Contact Noble Diagnostics to discuss your needs today.