The Power of Specialized Behavioral Health Lab Providers

In behavioral health, accurate and reliable testing is crucial for effective diagnosis, treatment, and monitoring. With a track record of collaborating with more than 500 lab providers, the ones who stand out have the ability to ensure controlled testing outcomes. By choosing to work with a lab provider specializing in the behavioral health space, healthcare professionals can unlock a wide range of benefits (e.g. tracking medicated management results). It’s essential for your lab provider to understand the nuances associated with mental health disorders, substance abuse, and addiction, to tailor to specific conditions and ensure accurate and relevant results. Let’s explore the advantages of collaborating with such providers and shed light on how they can ensure controlled testing outcomes!

Partner with Behavioral Health Lab Providers

Collaborating with lab providers who specialize in behavioral health is important to provide exceptional care to its patients, and here is why! These specialized lab providers have in-depth knowledge and expertise in the unique testing requirements of mental health disorders, substance abuse, and addiction. By partnering with these providers, behavioral health facilities can ensure accurate and relevant testing outcomes, enabling more precise diagnoses, personalized treatment plans, and effective monitoring of patient progress. Specialized lab providers also understand the importance of rigorous quality control measures, advanced testing technologies, and adherence to industry guidelines, ensuring the reliability and validity of test results. By collaborating with lab providers who specialize in behavioral health, facilities can enhance patient outcomes, improve treatment efficacy, and uphold the highest standards of care in the field. Who doesn’t want that?

Presumptive versus Definitive Drug Testing

  • Presumptive drug testing refers to initial screening methods that quickly indicate the presence or absence of certain drugs or drug classes. These tests are cost-effective and provide rapid results. However, they have a higher probability of false positives or false negatives. 
  • Definitive drug testing, on the other hand, utilizes more sophisticated techniques, such as LCMS, to confirm the presence of specific drugs and their metabolites. Definitive testing provides higher accuracy and reliability, making it crucial in behavioral health testing scenarios. Specialized behavioral health lab providers have the expertise and technology to perform presumptive and definitive drug testing, ensuring comprehensive and reliable results. It has the best turnaround time and better service – vetted by Kipu. 

Types of Testing

  • Point-of-Care (POC) Testing: POC testing involves conducting rapid diagnostic tests at the point of patient care. Specialized behavioral health lab providers offer a range of POC tests designed specifically for mental health disorders, substance abuse, and addiction. This is the most common form of testing. It is an instant testing strip with 12 panels testing if the client’s urine tests positive or negative on any of the panels. These tests provide immediate results, allowing for prompt decision-making and interventions.
    • PRO: Healthcare professionals can quickly assess patients and initiate appropriate treatments or interventions in a timely manner. POC is the most cost-effective option. 
    • CON: It does not test for fentanyl, alcohol, most benzodiazepines, or xylazine. POC has a 35-40% accuracy rate which can lead to false positives/negatives and does not indicate the levels of toxicity. 
  • Analyzer Testing: Usually the POC test is shipped to a lab provider to be screened on an analyzer. The Analyzer testing utilizes automated laboratory equipment to perform diagnostic tests. Specialized behavioral health lab providers invest in advanced analyzers with high precision, reliability, and efficiency in analyzing samples. These systems are capable of processing large volumes of tests while maintaining strict quality control measures. It will take those 12 panels tested in the POC cup and confirm with 99% accuracy the results of the POC testing.
    • PRO: By leveraging analyzer testing, healthcare professionals can benefit from accurate and timely results, facilitating informed decision-making and improved patient care.
    • CON: Only provides you with positive or negative results, not the levels of toxicity. 
  • Confirmation/QuantitativeTesting: From the analyzer, the sample goes through a third round of testing through the Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (LCMS) machine. LCMS testing is a highly sensitive and specific method used for drug testing and identification. It is known as the gold standard of testing. Specialized behavioral health lab providers utilize LCMS technology to detect and analyze over 100 different analytes. LCMS provides definitive results, offering 99% accuracy and reliability providing you with the toxicity levels.
    • PRO: By employing LCMS testing, healthcare professionals can ensure precise identification and quantification of substances, supporting effective treatment planning and monitoring. It tells you specifics on what substance was taken (e.g. specific class of benzodiazepines) and will specify the level of each within that class. They also typically test for xylazine.
    • CON: Least cost-effective. Coverage varies by insurance carriers and payment type.

Industry Standards

Controlled testing outcomes are achieved through stringent quality control measures implemented by specialized lab providers. These measures align with industry standardsguidelines, and regulatory requirements, guaranteeing the reliability and validity of test results. Specialized behavioral health lab providers adhere to robust quality control protocols for both presumptive and definitive drug testing, minimizing the risk of errors, false positives, and false negatives. This commitment to quality ensures that healthcare professionals can rely on accurate and consistent testing outcomes. Check out the American Society of Addiction Medicine’s (ASAM) clinical guidelines for drug testing here!

As your EMR provider, Kipu will track testing within the EMR. Should your lab provider not support Kipu Lab’s connectivity, and you would like to utilize this feature, one of our dedicated lab team members will work with you to recommend a lab provider that fits your specific testing needs. Our Lab Integration Team will educate and train your staff on the features and functionalities of Kipu Labs to make sure you are utilizing and optimizing it to your fullest potential. We want to ensure your lab provider supports you and your patients’ testing needs to provide the best care possible! Learn more and get a demo.

About the Authors

Rely on Kipu to keep you ahead of change.

Subscribe to Kipu for behavioral health news, updates, community celebration, and product announcements.