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OIG Publishes Op-Ed Suggesting Mandatory Random Drug Testing For Health Care Professionals

March 13, 2014 | No Comments
Posted by Beth Christian

In an Op Ed article published in yesterday’s New York Times (, HHS OIG Daniel Levinson has called for mandatory random drug testing by hospitals for all health care workers with access to drugs.  Citing recent cases involving drug diversions by health care workers that led to patient harm, the OIG indicated that since transportation or other safety-sensitive workers are already subject to random drug testing, health care workers should be subject to such testing as well.  The OIG also called for the imposition of a requirement obligating hospitals to  contact law enforcement if they suspect that a health care worker is stealing drugs.  The OIG did not identify what vehicle would be used to implement these proposals.  The Op-Ed piece leaves open the question of how the proposals would impact existing mandatory reporting obligations imposed on health care professionals by their professional boards, how mandatory reporting to law enforcement might impact referrals to professional assistance programs such as New Jersey’s Alternate Resolution Program, or issues raised in connection with collective bargaining agreements.


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