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Nov 08 Written by 

Service Agent Arrested For Fraud Against FMCSA’s Drug and Alcohol Regulations

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On October 13, 2016, federal agents arrested a Pennsylvania woman for her role in a scheme. She violated the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) regulated drug and alcohol program. Let's make sure your business doesn't use a service agent like this. 

A Federal grand jury in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, returned a 65-count indictment. They charged her with wire fraud, false statements, and aggravated identity theft. The indictment alleged that the service agent contracted with a trucking firm to handle its DOT drug and alcohol testing requirements for payment. She collected urine samples and listed her name as medical review officer on custody and control forms. Of course, she wasn't a medical review officer. The trucking company relied on those false documents to prove compliance with the FMCSA drug testing regulations.

There are thousands of service agents that companies contract with to administer their DOT drug testing program. Businesses rely on service providers to remain in compliance. It’s important to qualify your service providers before conducting business with them. This will help you avoid nightmares such as these. Here’s how: 

Check The Service Provider's Laboratory Certifications

The National Laboratory Certification Program under HHS certifies laboratories for drug testing. No exceptions. The lab you use must be on this list. 

Check The Medical Review Officer’s Certification

HHS currently has only two approved entities that certify Medical Review Officers (MROs). These are the AAMRO and the MROCC. AAMRO is the American Association of Medical Review Officers. MROCC is the Medical Review Officer Certification Council. Use the search in the directory to verify an MRO. 

Audit Collection Sites and Testing Personnel

Trained urine collection personnel and breath alcohol technicians must meet the DOT guidelines. DATIA provides a directory search for accredited collection facilities. Although, if a provider isn’t listed, it doesn’t mean you can’t do business with them. The best way to qualify a collection site is with an on-site inspection. You can also do this by speaking with a trained staff member.

Here a few questions to ask to audit a collection site:

  • What are the DOT urine collection procedures?
  • What do you do if a donor has a shy bladder?
  • What if a donor refuses to test?
  • How do you maintain the security of the sample?
  • Do you have a breath alcohol machine quality assurance program?
  • Is your evidential breath testing device approved by DOT?

Check Your Substance Abuse Professional’s Qualifications

A couple of organizations offer Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) training and examinations. There isn’t a single certifying source for locating SAPs but, you shouldn’t have any trouble finding one near you. Always make sure the SAP is aware that the DOT regulations cover the patient. This is important for the SAP to meet the return-to-duty requirements.

You should have a go-to source to check and verify your FMCSA drug and alcohol service providers. Remember that, as the employer, you're responsible for your company's safety and compliance.

Need help with your FMCSA drug and alcohol requirements? 

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9954 Last modified on Friday, 05 January 2018
Hagen DeRouen

Co-founder & CEO at Screensoft. 10+ years of experience with employment screening program management and guidance. Certifications including FCRA basic, MRO assistant, and professional collector trainer.