So you want to add testing for drugs of abuse
Where do you start? Lab – Microscope and Beakers
We often recommend to clients that they start their new drug testing program with a waived drug screen.
Why? Because these are easy to administer, and you get the preliminary answers immediately. Plus, you only need a CLIA Certificate of Waiver to run these tests. If this program works well for you, you might want to upgrade to a moderate or high complexity test system, which requires compliance with more stringent CLIA regulations but also generates more revenue. However, do remember that Medicare reimburses the same for waived and moderate complexity drug testing. Also remember that all DOA screening is recommended to be confirmed by liquid or gas chromatography by a laboratory licensed to perform these tests by CLIA.
How do you know that the specimen you are testing has not been adulterated? There are a couple of other tests that could be performed for this purpose. And they might capture additional revenue as well. Even routine urinalysis dipsticks (CPT 81002) will help.
Some of the cups automatically test for some adulterants, but others do not. If this is not currently being done, we encourage you to ask your supplier about test strips that will test for creatinine, specific gravity and pH at minimum, but preferably also bleach and nitrites. Savvy drug users know where to purchase products specifically designed to prevent drug screens from detecting those substances in their urine.
If you have questions about this topic or any other issues around the business of medicine, contact us via email or call us at 800-635-4040.