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Use of a Certified Laboratory May Be Required By Your State Law

This column will provide our readers with news and updates on state drug testing laws.

the choice between lab-based testing and point-of-care testing (POCT) or instant result devices. POCT devices are available for urine and oral fluid testing and represent a viable option that is growing in popularity. However, lab- based testing remains how the majority of drug tests are conducted. Twenty-eight states, municipalities,


or territories in the United States with drug testing laws have specific laboratory certification requirements. Tere are many different accrediting bodies with acronyms short and long. Some states require laboratories to comply with at least one certification program. Other states simply require compliance with state certification procedures. A handful of states with laws make no mention of laboratory certification requirements at all. Tis article will take a look at which states require what. First of all, which certification programs

are most common? Te Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration(SAMHSA) certification is the most commonly required lab certification. It is mentioned in 18 state laws. Te College of American Pathologists (CAP or CAP-FUDT, which stands for Forensic Urine Drug Testing) certification is the second most common, referred to in 13 state laws. Te Clinical Laboratory

58 datia focus

hen it comes to how to conduct drug testing, employers have many options, including

Improvement Amendments (CLIA) certification is the third most common, mentioned in 5 state laws. Finally, the American Association of Clinical Chemists requirements (AACC) comes in fourth being mentioned in 2 state laws. Other certification criteria are mentioned from state to state, but no other program is mentioned in more than one state. Not all of these state requirements are

exclusive. Many states require multiple certifications or a one-or-the-other type of requirement. Many states require state certification in addition to SAMHSA or CLIA. Te number of states that have multiple required certification programs to choose from is 14 and they are: • Alabama—SAMHSA or CAP • Alaska—SAMHSA, CAP, or AACC • Arizona—SAMHSA, CAP, or Arizona Department of Health Services

• Arkansas—State Department of Health (following SAMHSA criteria), CAP, or other state recognized authority

• Georgia—SAMHSA or CAP • Hawaii—SAMHSA or state certification • Louisiana—SAMHSA or CAP-FUDT • Maine—NIDA, CAP, AACC, or state Department of Human Services

• Maryland—State certification and CAP (with SAMHSA cutoff levels)

• Minnesota—SAMHSA, CAP, or New York state certification

• Mississippi—SAMHSA, CAP, CLIA, or state Board of Health

• North Carolina—SAMHSA or CAP • Oklahoma—state Board of Health, SAMHSA or CAP (for urine), or other approved certifications

• Tennessee—SAMHSA, CAP, or other state recognized authority Laws that only require state laboratory certification make up a shorter list.

Tey are Florida (whose criteria match SAMHSA), Kansas (whose requirements mirror CLIA criteria), and Vermont (whose requirements don’t default to other criteria). Tis means, for example in Florida’s case, that a laboratory must be state certified and that criteria used to establish the laboratory practices must comply with SAMHSA requirements. However, the laboratory isn’t required to actually be SAMHSA certified (just state certification using SAMHSA requirements as a model). An almost equally short list consists

of those states and municipalities with laws that make no mention of laboratory certification requirements. San Francisco, CA; Boulder, CO; Connecticut; Idaho; Rhode Island; and South Carolina all have workplace drug testing laws, but none make mention with what certification requirements a laboratory should comply. As a reminder, this only means that the

workplace drug testing law is silent on the topic, not necessarily that state laboratory certification requirements are not required by a state regulatory agency. In many states, the state board or department of health has published criteria for clinical, medical, or toxicological laboratory certifications. In all cases, when establishing a drug

testing program, employers and their drug testing providers are encouraged to find out whether their state has laboratory certification criteria. When selecting a laboratory, err on the side of caution and choose a laboratory that follows those state regulations that apply in each applicable state, even if they are not explicitly required in the state drug testing law. Finally, be aware that just because a state

requires some type of lab certification for workplace drug tests does not mean that

summer 2016

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