Medical Review Officer (MRO) Services

Doctor With Pill Bottle

Medical Review Officer (MRO) is a licensed physician responsible for receiving and reviewing laboratory results generated by an employer’s drug testing program. Regulations require that Medical Review Officers have knowledge about the pharmacology and toxicology of prescriptions as well as illicit drugs. An MRO should also have knowledge of the federal agency drug testing regulations and guidelines from the Department Of Transportation.

As a Medical Review Officer (MRO), we must act as an independent and impartial “gatekeeper” and advocate for the accuracy and integrity of the drug testing process. Nationwide Testing Association, Inc., is required to review the documents for possible errors, interview donors who have non-negative results to determine if there is a legitimate medical explanation for their results, and provide feedback to employers regarding performance problems, if necessary.

At Nationwide Testing Association, Inc., our Medical Review Officers (MRO) are certified by a nationally recognized MRO certification board. We ensure that our MROs maintain their certifications by retaking and passing the exam every five years.

Medical Review Officer (MRO) Process

The first part of the process is the collection; the employee/donor/applicant will go into the collection site to provide the required specimen. The collection site will follow applicable protocols and will ship the specimen, along with the lab copy of the Custody and Control Form (CCF), to the laboratory to begin testing. The collection site should also transmit the Medical Review Officer and the DER copy of the CCF to the correct parties.

Once the laboratory receives the specimen, they will begin conducting the required testing. Once completed, the laboratory will transmit the results to the MRO to review and report.

After the Custody and Control Form (CCF) is received, the donor’s name and id number are entered into the system. The Custody and Control Form is then processed so that it will link to the result.

When the lab results are received through an electronic interface, they are immediately downloaded into our system. During this process, the result links to the client, the donor record, and the Custody and Control Form. The system will also determine an applicable status for the result based on pre-set identifiers and criteria

If the lab result is non-negative the system will automatically assign that result to our Medical Review Office, they are then reviewed by our Medical Review Officers. Each donor with a non-negative result will have the opportunity to speak with an MRO regarding their results.

If the lab result is negative, they will report to the company automatically through the system. If the laboratory results appear positive, the MRO will interview the donor to discuss the results and then the final report will be distributed to the company. The medical review process offers an opportunity for the donor to provide a valid medical explanation for any questionable results. Our process is designed to protect individuals and employers from wrongful accusations. We exceed all federal and state regulations and help you maintain a safer workplace!

Contact us today to learn about the Nationwide Difference!

Pre-Employment Drug Testing

Employment

Nationwide Testing Association, Inc., has over 37 years of experience assisting companies in making informed decisions. Our nationwide solutions for drug and alcohol testing, compliance services, and background screening are industry-leading. We pride ourselves on our host of full turnkey programs. All of our programs are customized to exceed both our client’s expectations and state and federal guidelines. Our high standards and our emphasis on a customer-first program has set us apart from our industry.

Pre-employment testing is the most common type of drug testing and is a way for employers to make the best hiring decisions possible. When an applicant applies to a job, they may be subject to a pre-employment drug test after a conditional offer of employment has been made. To ensure that the applicant is suitable for the position, most companies conduct a pre-employment drug test. Studies show a correlation between employee drug abuse and Increased absenteeism, higher workplace accident rates, decreased productivity and increased turn over.

When implementing pre-employment drug testing or employment drug testing, it is important to consider your business. What is right for you? Urinalysis? Hair Testing? Oral Fluids? Blood? Each of these testing methods has a different set of benefits. Pre-employment testing is only part of a full turnkey program! It is recommended to pair pre-employment testing with a random selection testing plan, as employees can begin drug use after the initial pre-employment test has been passed.

Contact Nationwide Testing Association, Inc., to discuss which nationwide drug testing program would be best for you! We will work with you to enhance your workplace safety! Discover the difference today!

Non-DOT Drug Testing: What to Consider

Non-DOT Drug Testing

In today’s workplace, government-mandated drug testing and the industry-standard “5 panel” drug test may not be enough. Over the past several years, our communities have seen a significant increase in the abuse of:

In addition, the US market is constantly flooded with a stream of ever-changing drugs of abuse from foreign markets: Kratom, Flakka, Salvia, and Khat are just a few examples.

When you are creating your Non-DOT Drug Testing Program, it is important to consider what drugs you want to screen for. Don’t choose a one size fits all option. Customize your program to meet your specific needs.

So how do you combat these risks in today’s workplace? These four important steps are necessary:

  1. Review and evaluate your current substance abuse policies. Once revisions are determined, distribute in writing to all employees subject to the policy, and obtain signed and dated acknowledgment of receipt form.
  2. Update your test panel to include a more comprehensive and current configuration.
  3. Provide updated information to employees on current trends in substance abuse and the dangers of substance abuse.
  4. EDUCATE YOUR SUPERVISORS! Provide education to supervisors on not only the classic drugs of abuse, which are still alive and well, but on the new drugs of abuse and how to handle reasonable suspicion situations legally and effectively.

Contact us today to discuss the numerous options for enhancing the effectiveness of your workplace testing program!

Electronic Cigarettes & Vaping in the Workplace

Vaping

As the use of e-cigarettes grows, employers are faced with a new question: Do you allow vaping in the workplace? E-cigarettes are devices that can be used to deliver nicotine or other substances to the user. Recent trends show a significant increase in e-cigarettes being used to vape THC.

If a workplace vaping policy isn’t something your organization has addressed yet, consider making it a priority for the future. As an employer, you will want to consider the pros and cons of e-cigarette use and examine how it fits into your company’s culture and goals.

If you choose to implement a smoking/vaping policy, you should evaluate your current smoking policy for consistency with state and federal laws. Consider your company insurance plans (if applicable) when determining if a smoking/vaping policy is right for you!

If you make any changes to your policy, be sure to communicate them clearly and in advance with your employees by updating your handbook, posting, and distributing the new policy to employees. When you introduce the policy to your employees, have a discussion with them and provide them a resource within your organization that they can go to if they have questions.

For assistance developing a policy, contact us!

 

 

FMCSA publishes proposed HOS rules in Federal Register

Electronic Logging Device

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) proposed changes to the hours-of-service (HOS) rules have been published to the Federal Register, about a week after they were made public.

Publication means industry stakeholders have 45 days — until October 7, 2019 — to provide commentary on the five proposed changes. Comments can be submitted to the federal eRulemaking portal at Docket Number FMCSA-2018-0248.

When the comment period closes, FMCSA will consider the latest comments before issuing a final rule. FMCSA previously hoped to finalize the rules before the December 16, 2019, electronic logging device (ELD) deadline, but the process is likely to take much longer.

The five proposed changes from FMCSA are:

  • Changing the short-haul exception for certain commercial motor vehicle drivers from 12 to 14 hours and extending the distance limit from 100 air miles to 150 air miles.
  • Extending the adverse driving conditions exception by two hours.
  • Requires a minimum 30-minute break before eight consecutive hours of driving time occurs. The break would be for at least 30 minutes and could be satisfied with on-duty, not driving time, or off-duty time, rather than just off-duty time.
  • Modifying the sleeper-berth exception to allow drivers to split their required 10 hours off-duty time into two periods of at least seven consecutive hours in one period and not less than two consecutive hours either off-duty or in the sleeper berth.
  • Allowing one off-duty break of at least 30 minutes, but not more than three hours, that would pause a truck driver’s 14-hour driving window, provided the driver takes 10 consecutive hours off-duty at the end of the work shift.

For more information contact us today!

Fentanyl – What the Employer Needs to Know

Fentanyl

By now, most employers are aware of the Opioid Epidemic. But are they aware of another dangerous epidemic that is growing? Fentanyl- a potent opioid has been steadily on the rise. And even more disturbing, is the combination of Fentanyl and Cocaine, and the combination of Fentanyl and Heroin. The City of Baltimore, a city heavily affected by the opioid epidemic, recognizes that most of the heroin on the street is now almost always laced with the highly dangerous synthetic opioid fentanyl, according to a new study led by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Public Health Challenges

A recent study highlighted some public health challenges caused by fentanyl-adulterated cocaine:

  1. First responders and those present at the scene of a cocaine overdose may consider administering Naloxone even if the patient denied using opioids.
  2. Fentanyl is very dangerous and powerful and dramatically increases the risk of lethal overdose.
  3. Opioid-naïve individuals that have been using fentanyl-free cocaine lack a potentially life-saving tolerance for opioids. Adding fentanyl to their drug of choice puts this group at an even higher risk of fatal overdose.
  4. Opioid-naïve cocaine users are typically not targeted by current harm reduction strategies and public messages concerning opioid overdose. A lack of education and access to critical resources, including naloxone —the lifesaving overdose reversal drug— render this population more vulnerable to a fatal overdose.

What Steps Can the Employer Take?

Consider adding Fentanyl to your current non-DOT testing program. But even more important is educating your management team and employees on the dangers of substance abuse. An effective substance abuse policy paired with employee education will not only enhance your testing program but may save a life.

Citation

*Nolan, M. L., Shamasunder, S., Colon-Berezin, C., Kunins, H. V., & Paone, D. (2019). Increased presence of fentanyl in cocaine-involved fatal overdoses: implications for prevention. Journal of Urban Health, 1-6.