Frequently Asked Questions...
- What does PDS do?
- What type of employer can best benefit from PDS services?
- Does PDS require a set-up fee, minimum usage or any other obligation?
- What does it cost?
- How does PDS keep the pricing so reasonable?
- What are the advantages of using PDS rather then a local medical lab, or
contacting a large national or regional drug testing firm?
- Why does PDS not provide DOT testing or other type of drug related services.
- Why not use one of the do-it-yourself kits that are widely available?
- Should we use a consent form before pre-employment testing?
- Should we institute a pre-employment drug testing policy and a general drug policy?
- What if we do no know ahead of time where we need tests conducted?
- What if the results are positive, or there is an abnormality?
- What advantages are there in using PDS if an employer has a Human Resources
or Security Department?
- What drugs are being tested for?
- Who are the people behind PDS?
1. What does PDS do?
PDS was formed to help small to medium employers that want to conduct pre-employment drug testing quickly, easily and inexpensively before hiring a new employee. PDS simply takes care of all the details. PDS act as a "Third Party Administrator," setting up everything a firm needs for pre-employment drug testing. PDS provides the forms, a list of collection sites (from over 10,000 available sites), has the sample a analyzed by nationally recognized laboratory, and reports the results to the employer in the most convenient manner. And, in the event of a positive or abnormal test, PDS arranges at no extra cost for a Medical Review Officer (MRO) to review the results before a final outcome is given. (Back to Top)
2. What type of employer can best benefit from PDS services?
PDS can provide help to the small to medium employer who is too big or busy to make their own arrangements, but too small to qualify for volume discounts given by major laboratory chains.
An employer that operates in just one location can set-up an account with a local laboratory or medical clinic that can usually be located in the Yellow Pages under "Drug Detection." However, if an employer has multiple locations, or has applicants from a wide variety of areas, it is burdensome and expensive set-up pre-employment drug testing all over. Before PDS, a employer had to set up multiple relationships with different collection sites and laboratories, which was expensive and time consuming.
Unless firms do a substantial amount of drug testing and have the resources for an in-house coordinator, it can be difficult to work with a national drug testing firm. There are regional firms that provide these services, but they normally need the employer to commit to certain exact collection sites ahead of time so their own collection materials can be stocked there. There is little flexibility.
However, with just one phone call to PDS, everything is handled. Within 24 hours, an employer can have the forms necessary, a list of convenient collection sites, the assistance of a nationally recognized laboratory, a medical review officer (MRO) when necessary and a firm to administer the program. With PDS, an employer can begin pre-employment drug testing without hassle or delay, or increasing their own overhead. Everything is coordinated by PDS, including just one monthly bill for all tests, no matter how many locations were involved. (Back to Top)
3. Does PDS require a set-up fee, minimum usage or any other obligation?
PDS is designed to help the small to medium employers. There is a small set-up fee to cover administrative costs. However, there is no volume requirements or minimum usage. Use us just as much as is necessary. (Back to Top)
4. What does it cost?
PDS charges $48.00 per completed test. That includes our full services. NOTE: That is based upon taking a test at an approved collection site. If a site outside of our system is used, then the price of the collection site is charged. However, it is unusual that an outside collection site would be needed.
Taking into account that PDS does all the third party administration, this is substantially less than an employer would have to pay if they set-up a program themselves. The true cost of a drug test to an employer is not only the "hard costs," such as the collection fee, the laboratory analysis fee and the Medical Review Officer fee, but also all of the administration associated with a drug testing program. The administrative costs includes and setting up multiple collection sites and labs, dealing with multiple billings from collection sites and labs, dealing with positive or abnormal test results, and handling all of the other administrative details. Most human resources professionals, security professionals, or business owners do not have the time to deal with the matters when PDS can handle it for them. PDS bills only after a test has been completed. (Back to Top)
5. How does PDS keep the pricing so reasonable?
Through large volume of tests, and utilizing both Internet and database technology to administer drug testing as efficiently as possible. PDS is able to pass on its volume pricing to its clients. (Back to Top)
6. What are the advantages of using PDS rather than a local medical lab, or contacting a large national or regional drug testing firm?
The large national laboratories are set up to work with large employers who conduct large numbers of pre-employment screening. Unless an employer does volume testing and has a person in-house who administers the program, it can be difficult to work with the national companies. There are some regional companies. However, they will normally require that an employer identify specific locations ahead of time, so that those specific collection sites can be stocked with their own collection supplies. That does not help an employer who needs flexibility in where the tests are conducted, or may need to add a new location without notice. Finally, the disadvantage of using local collections sites is the logistics of setting up relationships with a number of local providers, as well as a potential lack of uniformity in the drug testing program. (Back to Top)
7. Why does PDS not provide DOT testing or other type of drug related services.
PDS does NOT offer other more expensive services that drive up costs, such as DOT testing, random sample testing, safety testing, writing policies, supervisor training, etc. PDS has one mission and one mission only -- to make it feasible and easy for small to medium employers to conduct pre-employment drug testing. For that reason, PDS does not get involved with a myriad of other drug related services that most small to medium employers do not need. However, PDS will gladly make referrals to extremely well-qualified partners should more detailed services ever be required. (Back to Top)
8. Why not use one of the do-it-yourself kits that are widely available?
There are a number of do-it-yourself instant drug kits on the market today. For many employers, they are an excellent resource. They are a very quick and relatively inexpensive method to instantly screen an applicant or employee for drugs. If it is negative, then the test has been successfully competed and the person can begin working. However, if there is a positive, then a laboratory confirmation must be obtained. No long term adverse action should be taken based upon an instant test. In the event of a positive result, the test must be confirmed by a laboratory. (See more information about instant tests on our Links page.)
There are two types of instant tests that can be used. First, there are urine tests that requires a urine sample. The applicant provides a urine sample in a test container. Then, the container is manipulated in some way to get a result. The instant test kits are designed to minimize any inconvenience in administering and handling the test. There are also oral fluid tests, where the applicant places a small absorbent sponge in their mouth.
Some employers find that there are advantages in utilizing a third party and off-site drug testing through an independent collection lab and certified laboratory. They do not want to deal with the test administration, or the follow-up in case of a positive. For some employers, there is an advantage in giving the applicant the responsibility of completing a test, and seeing if they follow through with it can be a screening tool all by itself. . Back to Top)
9. Should we use a consent form before pre-employment testing?
Yes, a consent is required. A sample consent form is provided with the client's sign-up material. However, in the event an employer has any questions, they should contact their own attorney in their own state. PDS does not offer or provide any legal services, and any information is based upon generally accepted industry practices. (Back to Top)
10. Should we institute a pre-employment drug testing policy and a general drug policy?
That is also widely considered a best practice. Information on these subjects are also provided as part of a client's sign up package, Again, in the event an employer has any questions, they should contact their own attorney in their own state. PDS does not offer or provide any legal services, and any information is based upon generally accepted industry practices. (Back to Top)
11. What if we do not know ahead of time where we need tests conducted?
It doesn't matter. PDS has over 10,000 collection sites available. Just call PDS, and we can arrange a collection site without delay. With PDS, an employer does not have to tells us ahead of time precisely what collection sites the they need. (Back to Top)
12. What if the results are positive, or there is an abnormality?
If the results are positive, the employer can let the applicant retake the test. However, that does not address the issue of the original test being positive. By giving an applicant with a positive result more time, the applicant has a greater chance of drugs leaving the system. A better approach is to advise the applicant that they have the right to have the sample retested at a laboratory of their choice. However, the applicant must first pre-pay the cost of sending a portion of the sample to the laboratory of their choice, as well as providing the name and address of the lab they wish to use.
On occasion, there is a test result that comes back negative, but has an abnormality so that the test cannot be considered valid. That can be occur for a variety of reasons, such as an applicant having attempted to alter the test results by some method, an applicant having consumed too much water, or just due to natural physiology. In that case, the employer will be advised. If the employer requires a second test, each test is subject to our fee. Another alternative in the event of an abnormal result is to have an applicant take the more expensive hair test. (Back to Top)
13. What advantages are there in using PDS if an employer has a Human Resources or Security Department?
PDS is the ideal partner for a Human Resources or Security professionals that supervises pre-employment drug testing as part of their responsibility. By outsourcing the administration of the program to PDS, the HR or Security professional has more time to do those things that they must do inside their organization. Outsourcing is a best practice for those task that although vital to an organization, do not represent a core strength or a function that must uniquely be performed internally. (Back to Top)
14. What drugs are being tested for?
PDS provides employers with the standard recommended five panel test, consisting of Marijuana (THC), Cocaine, PCP, Opiates (such as codeine and morphine) and Amphetamines (including methamphetamine).
Although each drug and each person is different, most drugs will stay in the system for 2-4 days. For chronic users of certain drugs, such a marijuana or PCP, results can be detected for up to 14 days, and sometimes much longer. Sedatives, such as Valium, may stay in the system for up to 30 days. To avoid the complications from "second hand" marijuana smoke, most labs will set a higher threshold before reporting THC in the system. (Back to Top)
15. Who are the people behind PDS?
PDS was founded in 1998 by a professional pre-employment screening firm in order to assist small to medium employers in locating a source of pre-employment drug testing nationwide. PDS discovered that small to medium employers were encountering difficulty in setting up basic pre-employment drug testing programs, aimed at just getting a basic "yes or no" before hiring. Employers had to contract with multiple small local labs. If a small to medium employer attempted to work with a large drug testing company, they found that the large firms were not set-up to provide customer service for small accounts, and the pricing was not always advantages. Taking advantage of Internet and database technology, PDS was formed to serve the needs of the small and medium employer who wanted a basic pre-employment drug test as part of the hiring process. (Back to Top)
If you have any other questions, please feel free to e-mail us , or call us at 888-999-4474.