Online Solutions

federal-form.jpgEarlier this year, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) revised the Mandatory Guidelines for Federal Workplace Drug Testing Programs. The HHS guideline revisions will lead to the following changes:

  • Expanded Federal urine workplace drug testing to include four Schedule II drugs: hydrocodone, hydromorphone, oxycodone, and oxymorphone
  • Removed MDEA for confirmatory testing
  • Raised the lower pH cutoff from 3 to 4 to identify an adulterated specimen
  • Allowed a Medical Review Officer (MRO) to recommend the collection of an oral fluid specimen in certain situations, as permitted by agency policy

This week, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approved the revised Federal Custody and Control Form (CCF). This approval essentially links the forthcoming testing changes to the required paperwork that will accompany the testing specimens. HHS published a Q&A document to help clarify a number of the changes.

While the impact of these revised regulations is somewhat complex, here are a few key insights that you should be aware of at this time:

1. These changes only apply to Federal employee testing. If your company performs oral fluid, hair, instant, or non-DOT urine drug testing, these changes do not apply to your program.

**Update** On Friday, November 10, 2017, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) amended its regulations to add hydrocodone, hydromorphone, oxymorphone, and oxycodone, four commonly-abused opioids; add methylenedioxyamphetamine as an initial test analyte; and remove methylenedioxyethylamphetamine as a confirmatory test analyte. This change harmonizes DOT regulations with the HHS guidelines published earlier this year. The Final Rule published in the Federal Register on Monday, November 13, and the new testing standards will go into effect on January 1, 2018. Read the full text of the Final Rule.

The most current guidance, DOT Drug Testing: Part 40 – Employee Notice, was published on December 12, 2017.

2. At this time, you should not order new paper CCF forms. The new Federal form was approved earlier this week—on August 8, 2017. As such, the printing of new forms has not yet begun. The Federal forms you have on hand today are still valid and can be used without issue for another 10 months—until June 30, 2018.

**Update** On Tuesday, August 15, 2017, the Department of Transportation (DOT) published a notice in response to the HHS release from August 8, 2017. In this notice, they state that because the DOT’s final rule on synthetic opiates has yet to be issued, “…employers and their service agents are to continue using the ‘old’ CCF until further notice from DOT’s Office of Drug and Alcohol Policy and Compliance.”

3. The anticipated go-live date for the testing changes detailed in the bullet points above is October 1, 2017. This week’s announcement only pertains to Federal CCF forms, and was essentially published to give laboratories and other service providers the ability to cease production of the legacy form and to transition production to the new form.

4. There has never been a better time to switch to eCCF. You have better things to do than keeping tabs on changing form and panel regulations, ensuring you’re using the correct form at the proper time, and dealing with the expense and hassles of shipping and storing all of this paperwork. Our electronic CCF (eCCF) process helps bear the regulatory and administrative burden for you— the new, online form is scheduled to go live in our system on October 1. There’s no cost to use it, it’s available today for all specimen types and testing reasons, and it’s simple to use. In the time it’s taken you to read this article, you could have signed up and gotten started.

As your partner in drug testing and workplace safety, we are aware of the changes and are working diligently on your behalf to ready our laboratories, systems, and personnel. We are committed helping create a smooth and seamless transition as we collectively adapt to the regulatory obligations to which we’re bound.

As we do all of this, you should do four simple things:

  • Continue testing as usual. The effort at this point falls on the laboratory, not on you or your drug testing program. You do not need new forms at this time.
  • Get news and updates from the DOT via email by subscribing to the DOT notification system (list serve).
  • Subscribe to our newsletter to ensure you stay current with news and updates on this and other topics.
  • Join the thousands of customers of all sizes and in all industries who have moved away from paper-based drug testing documentation and who are now processing millions of eCCFs each year

For more information about drug testing, visit our website or contact us online.

 

Advancing our online solutions

by Brie Edmonds on September 19, 2017

Moore’s law, in its broadest definition, states that technological advancements will continue at an exponentially rapid rate. At Quest Diagnostics, we know that when employers want to drug test an applicant or employee, they often need an electronic means by which to order, track, and review the progress of that test. With those two ideas in mind, our teams of experts work tirelessly to improve our customer’s online experience.

The Employer Solutions Portal (ESP) customer portal is consistently used by thousands of users on a weekly basis. To continue our commitment to excellence, we recently asked our active users for their feedback and perspectives on the system.

Here are a few highlights from our respondents:

  • 85% agree that their transition to ESP was simple
  • 82% agree that ESP is easy to use
  • 75% agree that ESP provides the necessary program management reporting
  • 73% agree that ESP is a reliable means by which to manage forms electronically
  • 71% agree that ordering a drug test is simple
  • 70% would highly recommend ESP to a colleague or associate
  • 64% agree that ESP makes it easy to locate a collection site

When asked for more detail, comments such as these emerged:

“The program is very user friendly and when I’ve had to call and speak to someone, they were great.”
“I like that I get the drug test results in a timely manner.”
“I find Quest Diagnostics to be professional and easy to work with in all regards.”
“Outstanding customer service – every time I call, they are helpful.”

While this positive feedback reaffirms our systems are meeting the needs of our users, this isn’t the feedback that compels us to do better. We’re far more motivated by the five percent of respondents who indicated their dissatisfaction with the system, its user-friendliness, their transition, etc. And while it’s hard to make everybody happy, our we’re there when you need us commitment drives us to try.

If you’re an ESP user, will become an ESP user, or want to start using ESP, here are five important resources that will help to ensure a favorable experience:

  1. ESP resource website – a one-stop-shop for training, tutorials, FAQs, and guides
  2. ESP video – learn about functionality, shortcuts, and system benefits
  3. ESP brochure – get the most out of this intuitive system by harnessing its full potential
  4. ESP contact us – submit the form and one of our representatives will connect with you
  5. ESP helpdesk – reachable by calling 1.855.748.7850

The vast majority of our customers agree that our online drug testing portal works, is easy to use, and improves the drug testing programs. But learning how to leverage a new system can be intimidating. We understand. Change is hard. But like Moore said, advancements are coming and they are coming fast. Paper drug testing forms will soon be a thing of the past as more companies leverage the advantages of online solutions. If technology isn’t your thing and you worry you may be among the five percent for whom a bad experience seems inevitable, taking a few minutes to utilize the resources listed above will go a long way to exponentially improving your odds of having a great experience with ESP.

For more information on drug testing, visit our website or contact us online.

ESP: Simplicity from Start to Finish

June 21, 2017Drug Testing

When technology is at its best, it combines powerful functionality with intuitive design. The Employer Solutions Portal (ESP) drug testing portal is a great example of this combination. But don’t take our word for it. A longtime client recently wrote us to say, “With ESP, we can set up templates and minimize data entry. It’s […]

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Employers Paying the Price of Substance Abuse

May 9, 2017Drug Testing

Substance abuse in the workplace is increasing. For the past several years, data from the Quest Diagnostics Drug Testing Index™ has shown an increase in drug test positivity in the American workforce. We knew that employee drug use was costly to businesses in turnover, absenteeism, accidents, and insurance. However, the actual cost employers bear for […]

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See the eCCF Difference for Yourself

April 7, 2017Drug Testing

If a picture is worth a thousand words, imagine how much a 3-minute video can say about electronic custody and control forms (eCCFs). Since we launched eCCF in January, clients have been asking for more information about how it works and the advantages it can bring to their regulated and non-regulated drug testing programs. The […]

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By the Numbers: Going Green with eCCF

March 1, 2017By the Numbers

Our By the Numbers blog series takes a closer look at the numbers, facts, data, and outputs that impact workplace drug testing programs. In this post, we examine the environmental impact of moving from paper-based custody and control forms (CCF) to electronic custody and control forms (eCCF). Paper-based CCFs have been a mainstay of the drug testing […]

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Online Solutions New Website Content

February 7, 2017Drug 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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We’re There When You Need IT: Web Services

January 12, 2017Drug 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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Ask the Experts: Getting Started with eCCF

December 21, 2016Webinars

Our recent Gain the eCCF Advantage webinar was well received by many in the drug testing industry. Throughout the presentation, our audience posed a number of questions. Answers to the most frequent and important inquiries from the webinar are provided below as part of our ongoing effort to simplify the complexities of electronic Custody and […]

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We’re There When You Need IT: ESP

December 19, 2016Drug 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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