Earlier 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) (2017 Sample Fed 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.
2. At this time, you should not order new paper CCF forms. The Federal forms you have on hand today are still valid and can be used without issue until June 30, 2018.
**Update** On Tuesday, August 15, 2017, the Department of Transportation 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. However, if the revised CCF is used inadvertently and the testing was consistent with Part 40, MROs are to verify and report the result according to Part 40.”
3. The anticipated go-live date for the testing changes detailed above is October 1, 2017.See All News & Events