Medical Review Officer (MRO)

Definition - What does Medical Review Officer (MRO) mean?

A medical review officer (MRO) is a specifically trained and certified physician tasked with receiving and reviewing drug tests results when employees are tested as part of a workplace drug testing program. The role of the MRO for drug tests conducted pursuant to federal law is carefully defined.

The medical review offer serves as an unbiased gatekeeper, evaluating the information received and making a determination as to the employee's status. It is the MRO who assesses any report of dilution or adulteration of a sample and whether an employee's prescription drug use may have interfered with drug test results.

The MRO is responsible for preserving the confidentiality of the medical information received about a particular employee, except in instances where federal law permits disclosure. If an employee receives a positive result on a drug test or is otherwise medically unqualified for employment under applicable laws, then the review officer must report the same.

WorkplaceTesting explains Medical Review Officer (MRO)

The medical review officer (MRO) is the party authorized to receive, review and make a final determination with regard to an individual's drug test.

He or she has the authority to designate a test result as negative if a suitable explanation for the positive test result is provided. If an employee has a positive drug test result, this information is sent to the medical review officer (MRO) for evaluation. The employee then has an opportunity to provide the MRO with an explanation of the result. For example, an employee who tested positive because he or she was taking a chemically similar prescription medication would present that information to the medical review officer.

MROs must be trained and certified in order to act as MROs. Part of this certification is to undergo regular training to stay informed of current regulations governing their work. The Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary only recognizes and approves two organizations for both MRO training and certification. These are American Association of Medical Review Officers (AAMRO) and Medical Review Officer Certification Council (MROCC). The HHS Secretary further recognizes another two organizations for training but not certification of MROs. These are American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM) and American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM). Many organizations that provide drug testing also provide medical review or assist employers in search of a qualified medical review officer.

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