I was wanting to start a thread for only people in the Virginia Monitoring Program. I am not finding too many threads about it or people in it. I have started into it and will be doing orientation soon. I will try and post what I can but of course no one can answer your legal questions, only legal counsel can do that. This would be more for personal experiences and what not.
If anyone is in it and would like to participate in this thread, please do.
So, for me, I am in it for mental illness (will not disclose what I have) and ETOH abuse. My story began when I sent my application in for licensure (to the board). I was honest and disclosed because I don't know what the future holds and I thought it would be in my best interest to disclose. Plus, I don't feel comfortable lying. I personally do not have a history of drug use or drug diversion (my apologies if you have heard my story in other threads). I was sent a letter from the board requesting my provider send a letter regarding my dx, tx, and prognosis. In addition, I sent a letter on my own behalf with my provider's letter. My case went before the board and I was offered approval to take NCLEX if I agreed to enter into the monitoring program. If I did not agree, there would be an informal conference scheduled. If I had decided not to do the monitoring program and went with the informal conference, I was informed that there could be approval, there could be denial, there could be probation, or the offer could stand at entering into the monitoring program. There's just so many things that could happen. I thought about it and really wrestled with my decision. I have to be honest, in the beginning, I hated the idea of entering into the monitoring program. I really was thinking of taking the informal conference. Then, I realized that I could be denied. No possibility of taking NCLEX and ultimately, no chance at being a nurse. I continued to think about it and decided to take the monitoring program deal. I figured that it was in my best interest (I was in the very early stage of having a mental illness dx, so I hadn't been treated for long and this would force me to stick with getting treatment whether I liked it or not) and I would also get to sit for boards. It took weeks to receive the order in which I would have to sign (and get notarized) and send back to the board in agreement to enter the monitoring program. I went through the process and contacted the monitoring program and told them I would need to enter it and that I had a board order. A phone intake assessment interview was scheduled and then, they sent me paperwork to fill out. The monitoring program sent me recommendations that I have to follow and I will have an orientation for the program. After the orientation, I will have to do random drug screens.
Some random facts about the monitoring program. You can't work in health care until they approve you to go back. The drug screens are $50 each and they can test you as often as three times a week. From what I understand, if you are compliant, the screens (therefore, the cost) eases up. I just about had a bird when I found out the cost. But a few people told me that if I was in compliance, that it usually eases up. I am really hoping this is true. You, the participant, are responsible for the cost of the screenings. The orientations for the program are held in Richmond. Your health care providers and possible health care employers have to fill out forms every so often.
As of right now, this is about all I know. I did keep a time table of when I received documents from the board and monitoring program and when I would send documents to them. From the time I filled out my application to the time I received my board order and entrance into the monitoring program/contract, it was approximately 6 months. I will be taking boards soon.
If anyone else is interested in sharing and is in Virginia, please do. I know I have come across threads asking about this monitoring program and there wasn't much info and no one updated. I hope to keep this updated if others are interested. I hope I didn't violate TOS. Thanks.
Sep 3, '12
Oh, and I did ask typically, how long is one not allowed to work in health care. The average time period is 3-6 months before being cleared. It is done on a case by case basis though.
Sep 20, '12
I received a packet today from HPMP with the screen information. You have to set up your account with a minimum of a $50 deposit into the account before you go to orientation. The packet contains info. regarding times that you are to meet; a map, so you know where to go; instructions on how to set up the account and how to fill out chain of custody; and chain of custody forms.
It also says to call in every day Monday through Friday to check in and find out if there's a screen.
Note to New Graduates who have to do HPMP: It may take around a week or a little over to have licensing information up because it takes time to receive the contract from HPMP.
Sep 20, '12
You start calling in the day after orientation. It says there is call in check in and online check in; they both give you the same information as far as if you were selected for a drug screen.
Oh, and the orientation thing says that only participants can come; no family, friends, or children. Better to be dropped off apparently...the sheet says parking can cost as much as $20.
Sep 27, '12
Update: It is not 3 tests a week average; it is average of 3 tests a month. Although, since it is random, some people get tested many times a month and then maybe once the next month. It is a total of 36 tests a year.
You meet with your case manager before the actual orientation. The orientation was a powerpoint presentation, so the orientation time actually depends on the questions asked.
Sep 29, '12
I forgot to add in my above post (would be nice if all this could be edited to one post) that the orientation time ranges about 2-3 hours (from case management meeting, to presentation or doing whatever else needs to be taken care of, and of course if anyone has questions). Also, we were informed that when we receive the "OK" to go back to work, our first job cannot be home health.
I have done about a week of the "checking in" so far. It's not bad. I do it online and first thing in the morning. It is probably best to do it first thing in the morning just because 1) you won't forget, 2) you are more likely to have to pee, so it is easier to get the sample, 3) your urine is less likely to be dilute. When I selected my screening site, I found one that cost $10 for a urine screen. It is not observed (someone watching you) though; the observed screens cost more. I have looked at the places near me and some of them are like around $35 for an observed screen, which compared to what it could be, is not bad. If I can get to where my screens do not have to be observed, then I think it is manageable. I figure if it's $10 a screen and 36 a year; that is $360 a year for 5 years, which means $1800 over 5 years. Compared to what I originally was told, that eases my anxiety. Even if I have to do the observed, that's $1260 a year times 5 years. That's $6300. It's a lot more; but again, still more relieving than 3 times a week.
Before you select your site, look at the prices of tests (it is given when you click on the site from the list they give you). Obviously, you aren't going to drive a great distance just because the test is cheaper; but in a given area, you might find the testing to be cheaper at a different site.
Sep 30, '12
you're very fortunate if your drug screens are that cheap. i had to pay $24 at the drop site (like a copay) & the cost for the actual drug test was charged to a credit card & was $65. we were tested on average twice monthly.
Sep 30, '12
I could be wrong, but I believe that the costs you are quoting are for the drop site fee only. Typically the drop site charges a fee and they vary depending on observed/unobserved. The actual drug tests are a separate charge. My drop site fee is 15.00 and my drug screens are 63.00. That's great if you only have to pay that small of an amount for the entire screen!
Sep 30, '12
I have no idea to be honest. I have not done a screening outside of one I did in Richmond. That one cost $41 and it was observed. We were also told to keep a minimum of $50 in our account at all times. Maybe there is a site fee in addition to that that is paid on site. I'll update more as it happens. I am just going week by week. I am very new to the program. I know that others were wondering about the Virginia program, so I figured I would try and keep something updated.
I think it is strange though that they told us to keep a minimum of $50 in our account and the amount deducted was $41. I am not complaining; but there's a difference. From what I am hearing about screens in other states, Virginia's $50 is not as bad as it could be.
Unreal, how many times a month/year are you tested?
Sep 30, '12
wml, I'm in another state, but I am tested 1-2 times per month. We are suppose to keep $75 in our account at all times...yeah right..haha! I put the money in there on the days I have to test. Only have 4 mos left and then I am DONE..yahoo!!!
Sep 30, '12
Oh. That's not as bad as what I was calculating it cost you. I was thinking at $70 something a pop, if you have to go like 2-3 times a month, that would be awful. But I guess 1 to 2 times a month isn't as bad. I guess it evens out because ours supposedly (this is what I was told at orientation) is 36 tests a year, but we are told to keep 50 dollars in our accounts at all times.
Right now, I am posting so much because it's new and I am trying to update. I will probably start doing the updating around one time every month or two. I promise it won't always be so confusing and many posts. I have just read about a handful (versus one or two) of posts wondering about Virginia's program.
This monitoring program is rough with all the forms having to be filled out (progress report, AA/NA/support group report, psychiatrist/physician report, therapist report, specialty practitioner report if applicable, and when it is time--employer report) on a monthly basis. I am a fairly organized person, but it drives me crazy knowing that my compliance depends on someone else doing the forms. I appreciate their compliance because it is a pain and I know that they do not have to do anything, but it's rough because there's a lot at stake when a form is not sent in. That is actually the hardest part about the program for me. Everything else (drug screens, the progress report and meeting report, the AA meetings and other meetings, psychiatrist and therapist appts), that I can do, is not too big of an issue. Again, I am not trying to sound ungrateful, but I have worked so hard for my license. The other hard part for me is that I am terrified that I will accidentally ingest or put something on my skin with alcohol/ethanol. I just had to vent a little. My apologies.
I keep everything in a binder, it helps a lot.
Since there are a couple of you all commenting, can I ask why, when you read the conference/board minutes, some people are mandated to complete a minimum of like 6 months of the monitoring program? I was under the impression that everyone was in their state's program for the full time. It did not matter why you were in it, you were in the full time. Do different people have different contracts as far as time limits?
Oct 1, '12
So, this morning, I checked in as usual and I got selected for testing. I did it online. When you go to details, then you have to go through a three step process. Step 1 makes you verify your testing site, Step 2 tells you the cost of the test, and Step 3 tells you the information such as authorization code, registration number, and the test you have been selected for (it's the part where you have to mark the test box).
My test cost $22 and the site fee was $10 (for a total of $32). My site does not have a pay at site option, which means that the site fee was deducted from the amount in my testing account. It was an unobserved screen but before I tested I had to take everything I had and put them in a lock box. Then, wash my hands, do the screen, wash my hands, and then initial and sign some forms. It is a split screen.
Oct 9, '12
Got selected for testing this morning. It was a different panel and this one costs $41 and then, there's the site fee. Total cost of $51. So far, I have had three different panels. Two have cost $41 for the actual test and the other one was $22 for the actual test. So, apparently, there's a range depending on what they test you for. I have been tested weekly, so far.
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