Recent Articles

By Peggy Morrison, 07/01/2020
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, CMS has established a COVID-19 Focused Survey for Nursing Homes with the expectation that all nursing homes are inspected to ensure appropriate infection control practices are in place to prevent the spread and transmission of COVID-19. According to Quality Certification &...
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By Christine Olmsted, 06/30/2020
The energy industry is one of the top 10 industries targeted for cyberattacks. Increased use of automation systems and the migration of sensitive information to the cloud has helped oil and gas companies become more connected and competitive but these new technologies have also opened the door to cyber criminals...
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By Andy Engardio, 06/23/2020
Great news for motor carriers - the FMCSA’s Crash Preventability Determination Program (CPDP) will be pulling “Not Preventable Crashes” out of your CSA scores! Motor carriers participating in the CPDP will see their Safety Measurement System (SMS) information change within 60 days after the...
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By Cathy Knopf BSN, RN, 06/17/2020
After many months of closure, the nation is beginning to open. With this in mind, the Director of Quality, Safety and Oversight Group for CMS Center for Clinical Standards and Quality issued a memo providing recommendations for state and local officials to utilize while determining the level of mitigation needed...
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By Gina Ekstam, 06/15/2020
As a result of the pandemic, agribusiness operations face additional pressures and are: Rethinking and re-routing product delivery around restrictions Increasing direct or on-farm sales Refocusing resources (e.g., distilleries making hand sanitizer) Adjusting to new rules in order to continue operations...
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By Brock Baldwin, 06/02/2020
Let’s assume you’re a federal contractor and you’ve found the perfect job to bid. You’re capable and competitive so it should be a cake walk. Not so much. The only issue is that the solicitation says that performance and payment bonds will be required. If you’ve never been bonded...
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By Guy Sansom, 05/27/2020
Ever since ship owners first started meeting at Edward Lloyd’s coffee house over 300 years ago, insurance in London, particularly Lloyd’s, has been conducted on a face-to-face basis. In truth, this has provided London underwriters and brokers a distinct advantage. No matter the size or complexity of a...
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By Cathy Knopf, 05/26/2020
The 2020 monthly webinars focus on best practice approaches, regulatory updates, operational and risk management techniques to help senior living communities better care for their residents and staff while protecting their business. We invite you to join our specialists at these upcoming exclusive...
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By Ashley Johnson, Lisa Salter, 05/18/2020
While COVID-19 continues to impact our economy, business income coverage, sometimes referred to as business interruption coverage, has become a widely popular topic in the insurance industry. As many business owners struggle to keep their businesses afloat, several questions have emerged on how insurance policies...
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Under normal circumstances, maintaining appropriate nursing staff levels to deliver quality resident care is a daily struggle. Add in severe weather, flu outbreak or a pandemic and the scales are tipped. Traditionally, senior living healthcare communities shy away from utilizing agency nursing staff due to high...
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How the FMCSA Clearinghouse is Clearing the Decks of Hidden Risk
03/10/2020

Logging some 8,000 violations in its first month of implementation, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is off to a fast start in bringing much-need transparency into drivers’ operating records to assure public safety and reduce trucking company risk. The Clearinghouse ends a long-existing gap in the ability of fleet hiring managers to access driver violation records from a reliable nationwide database.

According to the FMCSA, the purpose of the Clearinghouse (as mandated by section 32402 of MAP-21), is to maintain records of all drug and alcohol program violations in a central repository. The repository comes with a mandate that requires employers to query the system to determine whether current or prospective employees have drug or alcohol violations that prohibit them from performing safety-sensitive functions covered by the FMCSA and U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) drug and alcohol testing regulations.

A necessary tool says FMCSA

The agency says this will give it, human resources and hiring managers the necessary tools to identify drivers prohibited from operating commercial vehicles, while assuring these drivers receive human-centered evaluation and treatment before resuming safety-sensitive functions.

FMCSA’s position is clear - “Specifically, information maintained in the Clearinghouse will ensure that drivers who commit a drug or alcohol violation while working for another employer, or who attempt to find work with another employer, do not perform safety-sensitive functions until completing the return-to-duty process.”

The Clearinghouse addresses a situation where drivers could conceal their drug and alcohol violations merely by moving on to the next job or the next jurisdiction.  Now, drug and alcohol violation records maintained in the Clearinghouse “follow” drivers regardless of how many times he or she changes employers, seeks employment or applies for a CDL in a different state. FMCSA says the Clearinghouse will be administered and maintained in strict compliance with all applicable federal security standards. Similarly, the agency will comply with the consent requirements of the Privacy Act prior to releasing any driver's Clearinghouse record to a potential employer.

Doing what it is intended to do

According to the FMCSA, 650,000 drivers are registered, a figure that reveals just how many operators may have been operating under the radar. Dan Horvath, Vice President of Safety Policy for American Trucking Associations was quoted recently, noting to trade media that the, “Clearinghouse is doing what it is meant to do,” and that is closing a long-time loophole drivers were taking advantage of for years to avoid the consequences of their drug and alcohol violations.

An FMCSA announcement explains the Clearinghouse contains only violations that occurred on or after January 6, 2020. If a driver’s violation occurred prior to that date and was in the return-to-duty process when the Clearinghouse was implemented, the violation, and any related return-to-duty activity, will not be entered into the Clearinghouse.

This online database is intended to help keep roads safer for all drivers by identifying, in real time, drivers prohibited from performing safety-sensitive functions, and that includes operating commercial motor vehicles illegally due to drug and alcohol program violations. As it stands, the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse is now fully operational, and mandatory use is now in effect.

AssuredPartners Transportation specialists stay on top of the latest industry regulations to help clients stay abreast of new developments and manage their total cost of risk.  To learn more, contact our team of transportation professionals.

Sources: FMCSA and Transport Topics