The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has revised its Oral Fluid Mandatory Guidelines (effective October 10, 2023) and its Urine Mandatory Guidelines (effective February 1, 2024).
HHS published the following Notice in the October 12, 2023 Federal Register:
- Mandatory Guidelines for Federal Workplace Drug Testing Programs using Oral Fluid (OFMG) with revised standards and technical requirements with an effective date of October 10, 2023. Click here for the OFMG notice (PDF).
- Mandatory Guidelines for Federal Workplace Drug Testing Programs using Urine with revised standards and technical requirements with an effective date of February 1, 2024. Click here for UrMG notice (PDF).
These are changes to the HHS Mandatory Guidelines and NOT to the Department of Transportation’s “Procedures for Transportation Workplace Drug and Alcohol Testing Programs” in 49 CFR Part 40.
Each document was published in the Federal Register on April 7, 2022, for public notice and comment. NDASA provided public comments to each. The documents being published in the Federal Register today, October 12, 2023, are final versions.
Summary of Changes
The changes include the following:
- After October 10, 2023, for Oral Fluid testing, and February 1, 2024, for Urine testing, HHS can publish its authorized drug testing panel along with the biomarker analytes and cutoffs to be used for federal workplace drug testing programs. The drug testing panel and biomarkers, including the drugs, analytes, or cutoffs, can be changed by HHS without future public notice and comment, although HHS can choose to ask for public comment during its Federal Drug Testing Advisory Board meetings.
- HHS has made revisions to its Medical Review Officer (MRO) verification process for laboratory-confirmed positive codeine and morphine urine specimens in its UrMG.
For more detailed information about these and other changes the HHS has made, please see the National Laboratory Certification Program’s summaries of major changes: