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RecoveryPlus Workplace

Recovery Plus: Workplace wellbeing Drug testing (cont'd) "Drug testing is for treatment not for money. So help your patients. Take your mind off the money" Continued from page 30 of Justice, then filed for bankruptcy. This led to the discovery that the founders of Millennium Health had taken $1.3billion out of the business in 2014. Ameritox, the second-largest drug testing laboratory, paid physicians to drug test their own patients, and as a result was fined $16.3million by the Justice Department. It’s easy to understand why the authorities – and insurance companies – have become vigilant in their efforts to reform the business. They’ve pursued this by reducing reimbursements, limiting the frequency of testing, and providing an ever-changing and evolving list of laws for you not to break. But are they practicing medicine by making changes that affect how we treat effectively? Is there a happy medium? The fix: get reasonable (1). Drug testing is for treatment not for money. The government is always going to want money, but it is not out to get people who want to help their patients. So: help your patients. Take your mind off the money. There is now an exponentially larger level of risk involved with overtesting, or listening to hard-sell reps and labs who recommend unnecessary amounts of testing. It used to be like driving without a seat belt on: maybe you’ll get a ticket but probably not. Now picture a world where not wearing a seatbelt is the equivalent of robbing a bank with no mask on. Law enforcement will probably want that money back, and could get it pretty easily. The fix: get reasonable (2). Consult an expert. It can be confusing to research and implement a compliant, reasonable way to test. Luckily, there are “good-guy” labs with expert service, whose reps have been trained thoroughly about what the law requires, and what the law prohibits. The reps from the good-guy labs will walk you through how to set up a programme that’s right for your patient population: which drugs to test, when to confirm, a reasonable testing frequency based on your clientele and treatment needs. The good-guy reps know it all, and they’re happy to help. That’s their play. In truth, they’re as selfserving as any other lab. Because good-guy labs are often smaller boutique services (think the opposite of Quest, Labcorp, Ameritox, Millenium and the like), their management is as terrified of the government as you are. So they make damned sure that their operation is on the straight and narrow all the time regarding compliance. Usually, these guys can also point you in the direction of other complianceconcerned services: health-law oriented lawyers and high quality, trustworthy billers. All this ensures that your programme is quality and still generates a revenue. This time though, it will be a fair revenue based on fair services rendered. Take a deep breath. Whew. Now that you have the map in your hand, nothing seems so hard, does it? It shouldn’t be. A testing programme should be a no-hassle tool that helps you help your patients, period. So take a deep breath, walk out of that maze. Find yourself a rep who you like, and do something that will protect you, protect your patients and protect your practice: get a testing programme. your library’s essential reference September 2016 39


RecoveryPlus Workplace
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