Marijuana Drug Testing: Considerations for Healthcare Employers

The ongoing debate on legalizing marijuana and its effect on the workplace has brought major concerns for employers. At the federal level, marijuana remains classified as a Schedule I substance under the Controlled Substance Act—which is considered to have a high potential for dependency and not accepted for medical use, making the distribution of marijuana a federal offense in all 50 states.

PreCheck’s  Top 10 Healthcare & Compliance Blog Posts of 2014

2014 was phenomenal year for the PreCheck Blog. Not only did we double the amount of articles featuring healthcare experts and best practices, but the PreCheck Blog also won multiple prestigious awards, including being recognized as “Best Blog Website” by the Web Marketing Association. As we look forward to another great year of best practices for healthcare compliance, HR, and medical staff services teams, here’s a look back at the top ten most-read PreCheck Blog posts from 2014.

Alcohol Testing: What Healthcare Employers Should Know

Drug and substance abuse is a rising issue for healthcare employers. Due to the nature of the job, many healthcare workers, particularly physicians and nurses, are predisposed to develop prescription drug abuse because of their access to controlled substances. Alcohol misuse, however, may also put staff and patients at increased risk, which may lead to serious adverse health and safety consequences.

Celebrating Medical Staff Services Awareness Week 2014 with Dionne Austin, CPCS

To commemorate National Medical Staff Services Awareness Week, November 2-8, 2014, I sat down with PreCheck’s Director of Credentialing Programs, Dionne Austin to discuss the latest trends in medical staff services and her advice for medical services professionals (MSPs) in 2015 and beyond.

Why Drug Testing Physicians Makes Sense

Physician drug testing, and healthcare worker drug testing in general, has been a hot topic in 2014 for several reasons. From Inspector General Daniel Levinson from the Department of Health and Human Services discussing healthcare worker random drug testing in an Op-Ed article in the New York Times to California’s Proposition 46 which includes a random drug testing requirement for physicians, it’s clearly an issue in healthcare. Unlike other safety-sensitive industries such as transportation, physicians are currently not required to undergo drug testing in any of the U.S.

State Laws and Employee Drug Testing: The Olson v. Push Case

One of the issues employers and human resources professionals come across frequently is determining which state law(s) to apply when a criminal record is found in one state for a job in another state. States have varying reporting requirements, so it may prove challenging for employers and hiring managers to make this decision. A recent case from the United States District Court of Minnesota, however, provides some guidance in the context of drug testing.

Californians to Vote on Mandatory Physician Drug Testing and Increase to Medical Malpractice Cap

Come November 2014, Californians will be voting on a highly contentious measure that combines two much watched over debates: 1) whether doctors in California should be subject to mandatory random drug tests and 2) whether California’s medical malpractice cap of $250,000, an amount that’s been in place since 1975 with the enactment of the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA), should be increased to $1.1 million to reflect inflation.

Drug Testing, Substance Abuse Testing, Healthcare, Patient Safety and Care

It’s no secret that the healthcare industry has a drug and substance abuse problem. Doctors and nurses with addiction issues have made news headlines recently. In a July 2014 report for KTUU, Lacie Gorsvold explains how a nurse that admitted to drinking while at work and a physician that prepared for surgery under the influence are both still practicing medicine in Alaska. The problem, however, is not just unique to Alaska.

How Comprehensive Background Checks and Drug Testing Can Improve Patient Care in Nursing Homes

According to a recent report by the Department of Health and Human Services’ (DHHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG), around 22% of Medicare beneficiaries admitted to nursing homes experienced preventable injuries. In fact, in the 2014 OIG Work Plan, the OIG declared it will place a key focus on the quality and care of nursing homes and how often beneficiaries are harmed during their stay.

3 Drug Testing Takeaways from the 2014 DATIA Conference

Last month, I had the pleasure of attending the 2014 DATIA Conference held in Phoenix, Arizona. DATIA stands for the Drug & Alcohol Testing Industry Association and its mission is to provide educational tools and advocate for the interests of those involved or interested in drug and alcohol testing. Here are my takeaways from the conference: