Drug Testing

I’m There: Carolyn Loza

by Nicole Jupe on February 14, 2017

Employers understand the serious consequences of alcohol and substance abuse. When an accident or emergency occurs at work, tensions can run high. Carolyn Loza remains committed to ensuring that all aspects of the drug testing process run smoothly, especially in stressful situations.

In this month’s feature of our “I’m There” series, Carolyn describes what we’re there when you need us means to her. Click here to read the full story.

Employer Solutions shares a commitment to being there when our clients and colleagues need us – at every possible opportunity. Through the unique stories from our team, you’ll get a more personal perspective of what that commitment means to them. To learn more about this series, read our introductory post.

For more information about Employer Solutions, visit our website or contact us online.

 

Revisions to Federal Workplace Drug Testing

by Nicole Jupe on February 10, 2017

On January 23, 2017, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) revised the Mandatory Guidelines for Federal Workplace Drug Testing Programs. More specifically, the notice expanded federal urine workplace drug testing to include four Schedule II drugs: hydrocodone, hydromorphone, oxycodone, and oxymorphone. The effective date for the revised Guidelines is October 1, 2017. The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) also published a notice of proposed rulemaking to amend 49 CFR Part 40 to harmonize with HHS to expand its federal drug testing panel. There is a 60-day comment period with a deadline of March 24, 2017 for these DOT proposed rules.

In addition to adding four Schedule II opioids to regulated drug testing programs, the notices included several minor changes: adding MDA as an initial test analyte and removing MDEA for confirmatory testing. The revised HHS Guidelines also raise the lower pH cutoff from 3 to 4 to identify an adulterated specimen and allow the Medical Review Officer (MRO) to recommend the collection of an oral fluid specimen in certain situations, as permitted by agency policy. The proposed DOT rules would also eliminate the requirement for employer blind specimen testing and updates some MRO training/re-certification requirements.

We wanted to answer some of your most common questions regarding this announcement.

  • When will the DOT require these Schedule II drugs as part of its panel?
    The public comments on the proposed DOT rules are due March 24, 2017. It is anticipated that the DOT will publish rules that are harmonized with HHS with an effective date of October 1, 2017. This timing would be dependent on the number and content of the comments as well as the regulatory process.
  • What will be the name of this drug test panel?
    Based on the past implementation of the August 16, 2010 (effective October 1, 2011) harmonized DOT rules that added additional analytes, the DOT still considered the test a “5‑panel” drug test. Until the final rules are published, the name of the revised drug test panel is unknown. However, Quest Diagnostics will utilize a new order code for this new drug test panel. All of our DOT ordering accounts will be automatically updated to this new order code and panel name on the effective date of the new rules.
  • Can I start testing our DOT employees now? What about non-regulated drug testing?
    No because changes may still be made to DOT or other regulated drug testing until the effective date of their respective requirements. Non-regulated testing of prescription (“expanded”) opiates is already permitted in compliance with applicable state laws and regulations. Approximately 15 percent of our non-regulated opiate drug testing currently includes these prescription opiates.

We work to continually refine our laboratory testing to comply with changing regulations and as part of our commitment to quality and scientific innovation. Stay up to date with this regulation and other industry news on our website, blog, and social media communities.

Read the HHS revised guidelines in the Federal Register

We encourage everyone to read the DOT Proposed Rules and comment.

View the Quest Diagnostics Drug Testing Index™ for urine testing positivity data.

For more information, contact your sales representative or contact us online.

Winter Storm Niko May Cause Delays

February 9, 2017 Drug Testing

Severe snowstorm warnings are in effect for many parts of the northeastern United States. Winter storm Niko has brought heavy snow and high winds, which have created blizzard conditions in some areas. As a result, travel has become dangerous in many areas including Boston, New York City, and Philadelphia. Be aware that this hazardous storm […]

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Online Solutions New Website Content

February 7, 2017 Drug Testing

One of the most challenging problems we face as marketers is keeping our materials fresh, relevant, and engaging. With that in mind, we are pleased to announce the launch of our new and improved Quest Diagnostics Online Solutions web content. What’s new? We’ve audited and updated all of our online solutions web pages. You can […]

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Clarifying the New OSHA Post-Accident Drug Testing Regulations

February 3, 2017 Drug Testing

New regulations issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regarding Recording and Reporting Occupational Injuries and Illnesses became effective on December 1, 2016. The regulations prohibit employers from retaliating against employees for reporting workplace injuries and illnesses (OSHA 29 CFR 1904). Although drug and alcohol testing was not mentioned in the Final Rule […]

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Sobering Facts about the Repeal of Obamacare

January 30, 2017 Drug Testing

The Affordable Care Act (ACA), or Obamacare, has been one of the most contentious pieces of legislation in decades. While more than 20 million Americans are covered by the ACA, many have vocalized concerns over the cost and effectiveness of the legislation. With the outcome of November’s election, Congress and President Trump are working to […]

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Data Shows Escalating Drug Use in the U.S. Workforce

January 24, 2017 Drug Testing

The Quest Diagnostics Drug Testing Index™ (DTI) is arguably the industry’s longest standing, most frequently relied upon resource for drug trends in the American workforce by policymakers, media, employers, and the general public. The DTI examines positivity by drug category, testing reason, and specimen type. Since its inception in 1988, this report has analyzed millions […]

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We’re There When You Need IT: Web Services

January 12, 2017 Drug Testing

Quest Diagnostics is best known for the accuracy and reliability of our laboratory drug testing services. Perhaps less well known, but equally important for our clients, are our information technology (IT) systems and products. In this series, we will highlight several of our IT systems, which deliver efficiencies to the drug testing arena. Many companies […]

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Post-Accident Positivity Climbs Among American Workers

January 4, 2017 Drug Testing

Our scientific experts have analyzed and published annual workplace drug testing data and insights since 1988 in the Quest Diagnostics Drug Testing Index™ (DTI). After the initiation of drug testing programs by employers in the 1980s, overall positivity rates began to decline. Employers saw how the power of drug-free workplace programs deterred employee substance abuse […]

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We’re There When You Need IT: ESP

December 19, 2016 Drug Testing

Quest Diagnostics is best known for the accuracy and reliability of our laboratory drug testing. Perhaps less well known, but equally important for our clients, are our information technology (IT) systems and products. In this series, we will highlight several of our leading IT systems which deliver efficiencies to the drug testing arena. The Employer […]

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