Recent News & Updates

What is an adulterant and why is it important to test for them?

CLIA Products

Adulteration is the tampering of a urine specimen during collection in which the donor attempts to alter the final test result or outcome. Techniques for specimen tampering or altering are always evolving as individuals develop new and innovative ways to try and ‘cheat’ an impending drug test.

Examples of popular adulterants are:

•Classic or household adulterants such as bleach, salt, eye drops, lemon juice, vinegar, & peroxide.

•Commercial or store-bought adulterants which are frequently sold for purchase online and in certain specialty stores. Creators of adulterants being sold in the current market have created special additives consisting of formulas that will allegedly alter the outcome of the test result by generating a completely negative test result (false negative). The most frequent instructions and corresponding practices, although highly unethical, include the donor discretely transporting the additive product into the collection room and covertly pouring it into the specimen.

Adulterants act by either interfering with the composition of the specimen properties tested in the immunoassay portion of testing or by converting the target drugs to other compounds. Adulterant laboratory analysis measures the urinary characteristics such as creatinine, pH, and specific gravity for existing levels while the presence of nitrate and oxidant activity is also traced.

Adulterants work to change the properties of the specimen so that during the immunoassay portion of the analysis, a reaction will transpire and as a result, a false negative will be produced. Adulterant testing must be requested specifically as adulterants will not be detected unless this particular testing is implemented. When the specimen properties are out of normal range or when significant levels of nitrates or the presence of oxidant activity is found, the test may be canceled and reported to the Medical Review Office for thorough medical review. NTA, Inc. has a highly qualified Medical Review team that is highly experienced in handling this type of testing outcome and we are proud to offer this level of quality to our clients.

Due to scientific and technological advances, adulterated specimens are detected more often than not thanks to the more sophisticated and complex laboratory analysis’ that are being carried out. A 1999-2000 Audit by SAMHSA found 6,440 adulterated specimens went to 66 certified laboratories – Wong, R, 2002 American Clinical Laboratory. It is also important to include that the Department of Transportation now requires adulteration testing on all specimens tested within the federal guidelines.

When a company implements a drug-testing program, it is recommended that they include adulterant testing in their lab panel as well as their instant drug screening devices. Adulteration is a consistent issue in the world of drug testing and it is imperative that corporations and agencies remain vigilant while working to combat and circumvent the alarming trend that is adulteration.

Contact us today for more information!

Department of Transportation New Diabetes Rule

Diabetes Monitor

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has revised its regulations. The revision will permit individuals with stable insulin regimens and properly controlled insulin-treated diabetes mellitus (ITDM) to be qualified to operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) in interstate commerce. Previously, individuals with ITDM were prohibited from driving CMVs in interstate commerce unless they obtained an exemption from FMCSA. This rule enables a certified medical examiner (ME) to grant an individual with ITDM a Medical Examiner’s Certificate (MEC), MCSA-5876, for up to a maximum of 12 months.

To get the Medical Examiner’s Certificate, the treating clinician  (the healthcare professional who manages and prescribes insulin for the treatment of the individual’s diabetes), provides the ITDM assessment form, MCSA-5870, to the certified medical examiner. The form must indicate that the individual maintains a stable insulin regimen and proper control of his or her diabetes. The certified medical examiner then determines that the individual meets FMCSA’s physical qualification standards. 

If you have any questions about this process, give us a call at 1(800) 452-0030 ext. 0.

CLIA, CLIA Waived Products

Vials and Beakers

In 1988 Congress passed the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments, which are known as CLIA. CLIA guidelines are important laws defining quality standards for all laboratory scientific testing ensuring the precision, consistency and timeliness of patient test results regardless of where the test was performed.

All facilities in the United States performing laboratory testing on human specimens for health assessment are regulated under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988 (CLIA). CLIA Waived tests include test systems cleared by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) for home use and those tests approved for waiver under the CLIA criteria. Although CLIA requires that waived tests must be simple and have a low risk for erroneous results, this does not mean that waived tests are entirely error-proof. Errors can occur anywhere in the testing process, particularly when the manufacturer’s directions are not followed and when testing personnel are not familiar with all aspects of the test system.

Each laboratory and home test has its own specific set of requirements. Certain tests can be complex and may involve specialized or more advanced equipment. If these tests meet certain conditions they can be waived from all regulatory processes. Simply put, these tests are cleared by the Food & Drug Administration and can be conducted in the privacy of the donor’s home and may also be referred to as a version of Point of Care (POC) tests. The vast majority of these tests are very simplistic in nature using only basic equipment, therefore, inaccuracies or user-errors are nearly impossible. Such tests are referred to as a CLIA waived. CLIA waived tests can also be billed to insurance companies.

Instant Tests and Positives

Instant drug tests are user-friendly and economical. On-Site Test Kits are easy to use, produce quick results, and are less expensive than conventional drug testing. NTA offers these types of testing kits for non-Federal use ONLY. You can order these kits online, by fax, or by calling us toll-free at 1-800-452-0030. Common types of Instant Drug Tests include:

  • Dip Card Tests: On-site test kit is simple to use and the results are easily interpreted. The donor voids into the cup and gives the specimen to a collector. The collector inserts the test card into the specimen, removes the test card from the specimen, and places it on a flat surface for processing. The result is ready to read within 5 minutes.
  • Cups & Split Key Tests: The Integrated Cups providing quick and easy testing system. There is no dip, no tip, and no drip. It’s the one step on-site test kit.
  • Oral Fluid Devices:  These on-site test kits are a great choice for collectors or corporations wishing to conduct drug testing without the collection of urine. The donor simply moistens the test’s absorbent pad and swabs their mouth in a specific fashion. Results are available in minutes and clearly visible in the result window.

When an instant drug test results in a positive outcome, additional steps are necessary to verify the preliminary or initial findings. The specimen is placed in the appropriate carrying vials and is packaged along with the chain of custody form and sent to the laboratory. Subsequently, the specimen undergoes confirmation testing in order to confirm the true outcome. Once the laboratory confirms the exact findings, a full laboratory analysis report is then typically sent to the Medical Review Office. The MRO will seek to find a valid medical explanation and will conclude by reporting the final report to the requesting client or initial provider of the instant test. Confirmation testing is necessary to rule out inaccurate findings, collection errors, and faulty testing devices. The certified laboratory will be able to provide, in detail, the positive (or negative) quantitative levels for each panel that is being tested. They will also be able to test the validity of the specimen by assessing the physical attributes of the specimen.

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Get to know your all-inclusive TPA a little bit better; NTA, Inc. is here for YOU!

NTA Logo

Nationwide Testing Association, Inc. was founded in 1981 as a provider of substance abuse testing programs. Substance abuse management is one of the better tools in the prevention of any potential threats to staff, customers, and shareholders. It also helps businesses reduce costs associated with absenteeism, accidents, liabilities, and counter productivity. NTA, Inc. designs a substance abuse testing program to fit the client’s needs. We understand the sensitive nature of our industry and continually strive to conduct business in a professional manner with an emphasis on quality. The service relationship with our clients is a privileged responsibility and our customers indicate that our level of customer service has been the key to our success. Our highly trained staff is proud to offer top-notch, quality service & we strive for excellence each and every day! We guarantee outstanding customer service consistently with proven attention to detail and quality customer care!

We offer MRO Services, DOT & NON-DOT Drug-Free Workplace Policy Review and Development, an extensive Collection Site Database and Collection Site Coordination, MVRs and Background Checks as well as a full line of Investigative Reporting Services, Record Retention, Random Testing Program Management, 24/7 Website Access to Member Services, Training and Educational Certification Courses, a full line of Drug & Alcohol Testing Products, and much-much more!

Contact us today for more information on ways to create a safer, drug-free workplace! We would love to hear from you & answer any questions that you may have. Remember, we make DOT compliance LESS complicated & safe workplaces simple! Call us today at 1.800.452.0030 and let us meet AND exceed your expectations!