• How to Be a Workplace Drug Testing Third Party Administrator (TPA)?

    The two main areas in getting into the Drug & Alcohol Testing business are in collections and in TPA management. If you do not have extensive specialized training and a solid background in the industry the safer option is to first go by the basics.

    In the Department of Transportation (DOT) jargon, the TPA or Third Party Administrator is referred to as a Consortium/Third-party administrator (C/TPA) type of business. It is defined as “a service agent that provides or coordinates the provision of a variety of drug and alcohol testing services to employers. C/TPAs typically perform administrative tasks concerning the operation of an employers’ drug and alcohol testing programs.”

    If you intend to be a workplace drug testing TPA make sure that your business plan clearly states the description of the products/services you’re offering, profile of your prospective customers, ways you plan to promote, projections for revenue and expenses, and the approximate figures needed for the start-up cost.

    Moreover, you will need to structure the legal format of your business. You will have to discuss this part with your business attorney and your accountant to arrive at an agreeable arrangement.

    Unlike the collectors or the drug testing suppliers, the TPA performs more extensive duties for an employer. You may coordinate for an employer the entire process of the specimen collection, breath alcohol testing, the laboratory testing, the review and reporting by the Medical Review Officer (MRO) – all with proper compliance with existing states and federal laws, as well as other applicable regulations and guidelines. Your customers may come from both DOT-regulated and non-DOT regulated sectors. Therefore, you must be adept and knowledgeable with the business by attending workshops, training sessions, and conferences related to becoming an efficient TPA. You’ll also need to do a lot of reading to ensure that the services you’re providing your clients conform to a variety of states and Federal laws. DATIA (www.datia.org) is a good place to find information regarding Advanced Drug Testing Management Course – a unique training that’ll teach you how to operate TPA business.

    A successful TPA is not made overnight. It’s a challenging role with rewarding returns. You’ll need to keep on learning through available reading materials and through the experts in the industry. And speaking of experts, you wouldn’t want to miss Joe Reilly’s 2012 white paper, Getting into the Business – Drug & Alcohol Testing. You can download it for free and learn from his expertise. The paper offers extensive, valuable start-up information on how you can start a workplace drug testing TPA business.

    Joe Reilly is an expert on workplace drug testing issues.  He served for nine years on the DATIA Board of Directors and was Chairman of the Board from 2004–2008. He was the Founder and the former President and CEO of Florida Drug Screening, Inc – a nationwide provider of drug & alcohol testing and drug free workplace programs – until he sold the business to CBC Companies in 2007. After retiring from the firm in 2009, Joe Reilly continues to actively assist buyers and sellers in the drug testing industry as private consultant. He provides training and consulting services for people entering the drug and alcohol testing industry.

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    Categories: Drug Testing As a Business

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