Subpart G - Medical Review Officers and the Verification Process
§ 40.149 May the MRO change a verified drug test result?
(a) As the MRO, you may change a verified test result only in the following situations:
(1) When you have reopened a verification that was done without an interview with an employee (see §40.133(d)).
(2) If you receive information, not available to you at the time of the original verification, demonstrating that the laboratory made an error in identifying (e.g., a paperwork mistake) or testing (e.g., a false positive or negative) the employee's primary or split specimen. For example, suppose the laboratory originally reported a positive test result for Employee X and a negative result for Employee Y. You verified the test results as reported to you. Then the laboratory notifies you that it mixed up the two test results, and X was really negative and Y was really positive. You would change X's test result from positive to negative and contact Y to conduct a verification interview.
(3) If, within 60 days of the original verification decision—
(i) You receive information that could not reasonably have been provided to you at the time of the decision demonstrating that there is a legitimate medical explanation for the presence of drug(s)/metabolite(s) in the employee's specimen; or
(ii) You receive credible new or additional evidence that a legitimate medical explanation for an adulterated or substituted result exists.
Example to Paragraph (a)(3): If the employee's physician provides you a valid prescription that he or she failed to find at the time of the original verification, you may change the test result from positive to negative if you conclude that the prescription provides a legitimate medical explanation for the drug(s)/ metabolite(s) in the employee's specimen.
(4) If you receive the information in paragraph (a)(3) of this section after the 60-day period, you must consult with ODAPC prior to changing the result.
(5) When you have made an administrative error and reported an incorrect result.
(b) If you change the result, you must immediately notify the DER in writing, as provided in §§40.163–40.165.
(c) You are the only person permitted to change a verified test result, such as a verified positive test result or a determination that an individual has refused to test because of adulteration or substitution. This is because, as the MRO, you have the sole authority under this part to make medical determinations leading to a verified test (e.g., a determination that there was or was not a legitimate medical explanation for a laboratory test result). For example, an arbitrator is not permitted to overturn the medical judgment of the MRO that the employee failed to present a legitimate medical explanation for a positive, adulterated, or substituted test result of his or her specimen.
[65 FR 79526, Dec. 19, 2000, as amended at 66 FR 41952, Aug. 9, 2001; 73 FR 35971, June 25, 2008]
Updated: Wednesday, April 3, 2019