Ask The Experts

Ask the Expert: Drug trends in America

by Lindsey Amaya on October 3, 2018

During one of our summer webinars, Betsy Sears, Executive Vice President, Laboratory Strategy and Sales, and Dr. Barry Sample, Quest Diagnostics Senior Director, Science and Technology, examined two of America’s populations for drug positivity rates by various drug classes. This included a workforce population and ExamOne life insurance applicants. Understanding the drug trends and positivity rates of these two unique groups helps insurers identify potential mortality risk associated with the rise of opioid use in our country and drug positivity.

Talking with our experts

We recently sat down with our two experts to answer some of the questions submitted by our webinar attendees.

Q. Do marijuana testing numbers include cannabidiols (CBD) as being “positive” in testing? Or, are those numbers confined to testing of higher levels present of THC?
A. While CBD does share some of the same structures as THC, it will not produce a “high.” In some states where medical marijuana is legal, CBD products are allowed to have residual levels of THC up to 5%. You may wonder if this small amount is enough to produce a positive drug test. The answer is most likely not. A product that contains significantly high concentrations of THC in addition to CBD, could produce a positive drug test. However, if no THC is present in conjunction with CBD, the drug test will be negative.

Q. Are certain shampoos and hair washes still effective in masking the positive hair drug tests?
A. Research has shown that various shampoos, conditions, sprays and gels have little to no effect on the results of the hair specimen. You can read full details here.

Q. One slide demonstrated triple-digit increases in urine methamphetamine positivity from 2013-2017 for four regions in the United States. Do you know the prevalence for the states not shown?
A. This interactive map designed by Quest Diagnostics Employer Solutions, displays the percent positivity across the country. You can easily zoom in to a specific state to review positivity by zip code, as well as view the state rate compared to the national rate. Feel free to take a closer look by also changing the selected drug and year to see a different view.

Discover your applicant drug positivity rate

We hope you find these answers relevant as you identify what parameters determine your drug testing requirements. If you are interested in discovering drug trends and positivity rates within your applicant population, we can help with that.

Earlier last month, we announced that we are enhancing our laboratory ID slip and will pre-populate applicant information on all ExamOne laboratory accounts, effective October 1, with the goal of providing a better experience for you and your applicants.

Over the past two weeks, our team has received some great questions from our customers regarding this update. We worked with our Product Manager, Jason Day, to answer the most common questions.

Pre-populated lab slip

Q. What is the difference between the e-lab slip that ExamOne already has in place and the new pre-populated lab slip?
A. The electronic lab slip is an app that is deployed to a segment of examiners who are equipped with corporately owned iPads. The pre-filled lab slip is targeted at examiners who do not have an iPad, so therefore are still working on paper. This allows examiners to receive the same “pre-populated” benefit that our iPad examiners experience when using the electronic lab slip, thus reducing data entry errors, shortening the time of the exam and improving paperwork quality for our clients.

Q. The current e-lab slip is being e-signed. Why does the pre-populated lab slip need wet signature?
A. The new pre-populated lab slip is ultimately still a paper version of the form. Instead of the examiner using a completely blank version from the lab kit, we will be printing a version of that form with the work order. This allows us to pre-populate the form with all of the applicant information that already exists in our system. The examiner will still be required to enter physical measurements, such as height, weight and blood pressure and will require an applicant signature at the time of the exam.

Q. For paper exams, will the examiner be required to print out the lab slip prior to the exam appointment? What if the examiner does not print it out prior to exam?
A. The pre-populated lab slip will automatically print with the work order. No additional steps are required. A blank lab slip will still be available in the kit if for some reason the examiner does not have a pre-populated lab slip.

Q. For e-Paramed, will the pre-populated lab slip be incorporated and be e-signed?
A. This process does not impact our iPad fleet. We will still continue to collect electronic lab slips in the same manner we do today.

Q. It was communicated that ExamOne will send the lab slip to the client electronically. Will ExamOne also send the instructions on how applicants can obtain their laboratory results online?
A. Results delivery will remain the same as they are today. The only notable change is that the client will begin to see more of the handwritten lab slips replaced with typed versions. Applicants will receive instructions on how they can access their laboratory results as they do today.

Q. Does this pertain to Canada too, or only the US?
A. The pre-populated lab slip is currently available only on U.S. orders and in English.

Q. Is the pre-populated lab slip different than what we are receiving today?
A. The lab slip itself will not be different. We have just identified a more efficient way of providing it to the examiner.

We are excited about the improvements that will be a part of this update. If you have any further questions, please contact your Strategic Account Executive.

Helping life insurance brokers be their best: 1-Minute Broker Tips

April 25, 2018 Ask The Experts

Last year, we kicked off our “How we can help” campaign, highlighting the personalized solutions we offer our brokerage and distribution clients. This year, we want to dive even deeper into our Superior Solutions model by providing handy tips and information for case managers. This new series, “1-Minute Broker Tips”, offers quick tidbits of advice […]

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Ask the Expert: Why use an outsourced contact center for your business?

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Why should I outsource a contact center instead of hiring my own team? Building and staffing a contact center can be costly, and set-up is extensive. Most contact center service providers are equipped to be reflexive for different types of clients and industries. Many offer consultative services to build a script and workflow that fits […]

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Ask the Expert: The prevalence of hepatitis C

May 30, 2017 Ask The Experts

As we wrap up Hepatitis Awareness Month, we sat down with our laboratory expert, Betsy Sears, to ask her some questions regarding hepatitis C (Hep C).  Hep C affects millions of people who may not even know they are living with it. The Centers for Disease and Prevention Control (CDC) estimates that up to 75% of […]

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Ask the Expert: What is Policy Express 2.0?

April 27, 2017 Ask The Experts

How does the new Policy Express workflow differ from the original workflow? When Policy Express was first introduced, applicants completed a straight-through process, based on general age and amount rules. With Policy Express 2.0, underwriters can receive real-time data and be more flexible with requirements on each applicant. Now instant decisions can be made or […]

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Ask the Expert: online ordering

December 9, 2016 Ask The Experts

Our online ordering system is designed to simplify the ordering process, improve efficiency for your office and personalize the site for your needs. This tool was designed to help you manage your cases easier, save you time throughout your day and speed up the time it takes to order requirements. Below are some of our […]

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Ask the Experts: Why A1c is the gold standard of diabetes testing

November 15, 2016 Ask The Experts

November is National Diabetes Month. Earlier this year we became the first laboratory in the insurance industry to update our insurance profile to include HbA1c (commonly referred to as A1c) testing for all life insurance applicants. By upgrading to this test, we will help insurers identify more applicants who are either diabetic or who may […]

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Ask the Experts: Effective exam scheduling options with ScheduleNow

October 31, 2016 Ask The Experts

Is ScheduleNow available to all clients? All ExamOne clients can take advantage of ScheduleNow’s capabilities, national coverage, and flexibility. This tool is available for online users to schedule paramedical exams when submitting orders through our website and is used by our call center to schedule a paramedical exam at the end of the medical history telephone […]

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Ask the Experts: Ensuring quality throughout the applicant exam process

July 26, 2016 Ask The Experts

Do applicants prefer visiting a paramedical service center for the exam? Why? Your applicants made an important decision to protect the ones they love, and ExamOne wants to make the application and examination process as quick and easy as possible. As part of that commitment, ExamOne offers your applicants the convenience of real-time appointment scheduling […]

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