HIMS referral
Votes
Answered By AOPA
Good afternoon!
I am brand new to this process so please bare with me as I try to explain what has happened so far as I seek advice on how to proceed. I am wanting to enroll in a Commercial Flight Training Program, most likely ATP. This is a second career for me and I am 40 years old.

6/10/2019- Submitted MedXPress application for Airman Medical Certificate First Class
6/11/2019- Met with AME and was advised that taking 2 SSRI Medications will immediately disqualify me from eligibility for a Medical Certificate and that I would need to provide the FAA a letter of treatment from my Primary Care Physician.
7/2/2019- Received letter from FAA Stating I need to provide treatment history from my PCP.
7/23/2019- Met with PCP and advised I had stopped taking 1 of the disqualifying medications. Provided letter of treatment to the FAA.
8/7/2019- Received letter from the FAA stating I need a follow up evaluation from my PCP once I had been off the disqualifying medication for 90 days.
9/12/2019- Met with PCP and sent letter to FAA stating I was asymptomatic from discontinuing medication.
9/24/2019- Received letter from FAA stating that dues to my use of Sertraline, I was being referred to a HIMS AME. Enclosed was a request for copy of medical records to be sent to the HIMS AME.
9/25/2019- Submitted request for copy of medical records to be provided to closest HIMS AME.
10/23/2019- FAA sent letter explaining they have received my request for records.
12/12/2019- FAA sent letter indicating they had sent my records to the HIMS AME.
2/26/2020- FAA sent letter indicating that I have 30 days to provide the information from the HIMS AME.

Here is the problem. I have contacted the HIMS AME multiple times to schedule the appointment and have been told that I will be contacted by their office to schedule the appointment once he has time to review my records. This has yet to happen and I feel I am running out of time to provide what they have requested. I am seeking advice, guidance, support for getting this finished so I may begin training!
8 Replies
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First thing I'd do is document the scheduling problem in writing and send it to the FAA ASAP via registered letter or overnight delivery so their receipt is documented. Then (unless he shows up here first) contact Dr. Bruce Chien for further advice -- see www.aeromedicaldoc.com for contact information.
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Hi Nathaniel,

Ronald is on the right track with documenting your efforts and sharing the timeline you provided to the FAA. I would suggest that you give their medical division a call first thing in the morning when they open (8:30 AM CST) and let them know you've been trying to make the appointment but are not hearing back from the HIMS. They may be able to grant you an extension to complete the testing. You can reach them at (405) 954-4821.

If you have a difficult time reaching the FAA OKC Medical Division then you can try your Regional Flight Surgeon. Here's the link to their contact information: https://www.faa.gov/licenses_certificates/medical_certification/rfs/.
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Nathaniel: 
if you have been on two antidepressives at once, you cannot use the SSRI pathway At ALL, ever.

the other difficulty is, if you have ever had a period in which you experienced 90. Days off meds,  followed by resumption, you will likely be interpreted by the FAA as having “recurrent disease that has recurred” and that gets denied, if not on meds.

on behalf of my HIMs AME colleague I apologize for his lack of review “speed”; we are all overloaded.
 
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Nathaniel,

      I have also been referred to a HIMS process, and though we have come here from different precipitating situations, I can share with you my understanding of the communication process.  Someone suggested you file for an extension, which I would also suggest by replying in writing with your APP ID referenced in the header.  IF you do not request an extension in writing, I would still expect you to get a letter saying you have been granted an extension.  My deadline flew by as I chose not to act on the HIMS process at the time for financial reasons; I was given that extension without requesting it in writing.  My final (extended) deadline also flew by without any action on my part.  I received a letter asking me to surrender my medical certificate within 30 days and it included a pre-addressed, stamped envelope to return that medical certificate.  I allowed that deadline to pass because I had information from many sources (including several HIMS AME's) that even if I do not complete/start the HIMS process by the deadline, I would not be permanently denied a medical certificate, i.e. I can start the HIMS process at anytime in the future, be it today or 5 years from now, and my case will be opened again.  Once the HIMS process is completed successfully, a third class medical will be granted to me, and subjected to further monitoring post-HIMS.  I am actually meeting with my prospective HIMS AME today to (hopefully, and finally) begin the process. I hope this helps.  
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Brad Neely:
Nathaniel,

      IF you do not request an extension in writing, I would still expect you to get a letter saying you have been granted an extension.   

Don't bet your certificate on that.  Do as Boomer and I recommended above and contact the FAA medical folks ASAP to advise them of the problem getting in to see a HIMS physician and obtain an extension in writing.  This is one of those cases where it's better to ask permission than forgiveness.

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Thank you all for your help and input. After posting on here, I was immediately contacted my the HIMS Dr. I had been attempting  to reach out to.  After discussing my options with him we decided to pursue an alternate route of treatment. I have also reached out to the FAA and been granted an extension that search should be sufficient. After 90 days medication free, which will be June 1st, I will have more information and hopefully be in the final stages of getting my medical certificate.
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Thank you all for your help and input. After posting on here, I was immediately contacted my the HIMS Dr. I had been attempting  to reach out to.  After discussing my options with him we decided to pursue an alternate route of treatment. I have also reached out to the FAA and been granted an extension that should be sufficient. After 90 days medication free, which will be June 1st, I will have more information and hopefully be in the final stages of getting my medical certificate.
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Nathaniel, Brad has it right. Just don't get on the enforcement side. If the clock runs out (they only give you one 30 day extension and that is per their legal beagles, you simply accept the denial and apply again when you have everything that you need.  It's unclear if Brad complied with the "return the certificate" letter, but if he doesn't, he will be on the legal enforcement list, and then you can kiss any action medically goodbye, at least until the investigation has stopped and all the lawyers are paid.  When there is noncompliance, the docs simply stop until the general counsel action runs its course (about 2 years).
 
Remember however it's not so much about treatment (it is) but also about what's underlying and an "alternate route of treatment" does not change what is underlying.

I happy that your HIMS AME responded..