Federally mandated testing changes

The department of Health and Human Services Administration (HHS) issued a rule that will affect Federal workforce drug testing programs. Beginning in May 2010, MDMA (Ecstasy) and 6-Acetylmorphine (Heroin-specific metabolite) will become required screens in regulated panels. Additionally, the screening and confirmation cutoffs for cocaine and amphetamines will be lowered. The Department of Transportation (DOT) has not yet issued a NPRM adopting these HHS changes, but we anticipate that they will in the next several weeks.

Once these changes go into affect, your Federally mandated drug testing may see an increase in positive tests, primarily, due to the lower cut-offs. This could cause increased laboratory costs and Medical Review Officer (MRO) fees, and more results with increased turnaround times.

While this change will directly apply to your Federally-mandated testing, a number of our clients administer their non-DOT testing by adhering to Federal testing standards. We will not be taking automatic action to change any of your non-DOT panels without your written authorization. Despite the potential negative return on your investment, if you would like for your non-DOT test panels to continue to match the DOT panels and cutoffs, please call our National Customer Support Center at 800-877-7484.

As the industry leader and your drug testing partner we will continue to monitor and inform you as more specifics are made available. Quest Diagnostics will be prepared to implement all required testing changes to keep you in compliance with both your company policy and Federal drug testing regulations. Look for future Results articles on the topic over the coming months and do not hesitate to contact us with any questions that you might have in the meantime.

For more information about drug testing, visit our website.