Establishing a Relationship with a Laboratory

Routine Labwork is a Part of All Buprenorphine Practices

Since routine urinalysis is part of all buprenorphine practices, you should establish a relationship with a laboratory before starting a buprenorphine practice. Patients will need blood and urine work-ups at the initial screening as well as periodic drug screening throughout treatment. Make sure that you choose a lab that can do the testing you require, i.e buprenorphine testing, oxycodone, methadone, etc. Some of this testing can also be conducting in-office, as discussed previously.

Before starting a buprenorphine practice, you should assemble a list of laboratories in your area that can perform the testing that is needed.

Guidelines to Consider

Consider the following guidelines when working with labs:

  • Verify any time requirements that you have if you need lab results processed quickly. Using a lab that has a short turn-around time is most beneficial since it is best to address a positive (or negative) urine screen quickly with the patient.
  • When communicating with the lab about specific patients, remember to keep your state's confidentiality laws in mind regarding substance abuse treatment.
  • There are in-office urine drug testing kits available that may meet your needs. The advantage is that the results are available at the time of the office visit. Generally these testing kits are CLIA-waived, but check with local regulations.
Related Resources: 
Description: 
The following is a list of currently waived analytes that are used in laboratory test systems. The list provides the analyte name as well as a link to the waived test system.
Source: 
Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
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Description: 
Comprehensive document detailing the HIPAA Privacy Rule and its implications for alcohol and substance abuse programs.
Source: 
Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)
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