quality

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.

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.

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. In 216, approximately 19 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.

We’re There When You Need IT: Web Services

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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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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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Navigating Global Drug Testing Webinar Highlights

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Data privacy, drug screen turnaround time, collection network coverage, and logistics form the pillars of an effective international drug testing program. A “one size fits all” approach cannot be taken because factors such as culture, customs, currency, policies, and laws can vary greatly from country to country. In our most recent webinar, our experts offered […]

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Time Tested Technology

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Advances in technology can bring benefits such as greater efficiencies as well as time and cost savings to businesses. The drug testing industry is no exception. Developments in information technology (IT) over the last several years have brought about a number of online solutions including: ordering, collection site locators, appointment scheduling, status tracking, and test […]

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Ask the Experts: Six Sigma Quality

October 18, 2016Ask the Experts

Question: What is Six Sigma? Six Sigma is defined by the Council for Six Sigma Certification as “a set of business tools, statistical theory, and quality control knowledge that helps improve your business procedures. A Six Sigma process is expected to be free of defects with no more than 3.4 defective defects per million opportunities (DPMO).” […]

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Our Focus on Drug Test Quality

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As a leading drug testing laboratory, we want employers to feel confident about their drug test results because these results often directly impact workplace safety, productivity, and an individual’s livelihood.  Therefore, we are dedicated to achieving an exceptional level of quality throughout the entire drug testing process from specimen collection to the final drug test […]

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Quest Diagnostics Drug Testing Index: Drug Positivity in U.S. Workforce Rises to Highest Level in a Decade

September 15, 2016Drug Testing

The Quest Diagnostics Drug Testing Index™ (DTI) reveals insights into patterns of drug use among the American workforce. It has been published annually for more than 25 years as a public service for government, employers, policymakers, media, and the general public. In examining the latest data, Barry Sample, Ph.D., Senior Director of Science and Technology […]

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Express Results Online™ Collection Quality

August 19, 2015Collections

Are you looking for an accurate result from an instant urine drug test? Do you want nearby, convenient collection sites to help streamline the donor experience? Would you like the added peace of mind that comes from confirmation testing that comes from an accredited laboratory? Express Results Online collections render reliable, accurate results within minutes. […]

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