The Iowa Transportation Commission has updated its rules to expand the list of health care providers who can determine when a person is ready to get their driver’s license back after it has been suspended for medical reasons. Mark Lowe is the director of the D.O.T.’s motor vehicle division.
“In the past, our rules have allowed only physicians and optometrists to provide a medical report that indicates a person is safe to return to driving. And we have been contacted by a number of groups that have indicated that the way people are receiving medical services now is not strictly through physicians and optometrists, but also through registered nurse practitioners and physicians assistants. That they are assuming an active role in people’s care,” Lowe explains.
Lowe says the new rule says a “qualified medical professional” can determine if a person is ready to get back on the road. “That includes within that definition of a qualified medical professional, a medical doctor, doctor of osteopathic medicine, optometrists, and registered nurse practitioners and physicians assistants,” Lowe says.
“And then indicates a person who fits within the definition of qualified medical professional can provide a medical report indicating that a person is safe to return to driving.” He says the feedback on the rule change has been supportive.
“We did receive a number of positive comments on this from folks practicing in the physicians assistants profession as well as doctors working with physicians assistants,” Lowe says. The commission approved the change at their meeting last week in Ames.