Two People Ordered to Repay TennCare in Fraud Cases
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Two people charged with TennCare fraud have agreed to repay the state for healthcare benefits totaling more than $25,000. The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced details of plea agreements in the two cases.
In Rutherford County, Tadzia Williams, 42, of Murfreesboro, was ordered to repay a total of $16,659.88 and she received six years judicial diversion. Diversion allows charges to be diverted for six years, and once the repayment is made, the charges can be expunged. Williams was charged in March of this year with failing to report her marriage and income for herself and her husband in order to be eligible to receive TennCare benefits. District Attorney General Jennings H. Jones prosecuted this case.
Martisha Large, 43, of Maryville, was ordered to repay $8,408.67 in two separate cases. In Blount County, she was given four years judicial diversion and must pay TennCare $3,444.55. She was charged in August of last year with four counts using TennCare to doctor shop for the painkillers Oxycodone, Hydrocodone and Tylenol with Codeine. In the same month last year, she was also charged with doctor shopping in Knox County involving Oxycodone and Hydrocodone. In that case, Large received two years judicial diversion during which she must repay TennCare $4,964.12. The two sentences will run concurrently. District Attorney General Mike Flynn prosecuted the Blount County Case and District Attorney General Charme P. Allen prosecuted the Knox County case.
“Tennessee is committed to preserving the integrity of the TennCare program and the public dollars that are reserved for people truly in need of healthcare insurance benefits,” Inspector General Manny Tyndall said. “We do so by vigorously prosecuting anyone who uses or attempts to use the program for unlawful purposes.”
The OIG, which is separate from TennCare, began full operation in February 2005 and has investigated cases leading to more than $3 million being repaid to TennCare, with a total estimated cost avoidance of more than $163.6 million for TennCare, according to latest figures. To date, 2,901 people have been charged with TennCare fraud.
Through the OIG Cash for Tips Program established by the Legislature, Tennesseans can get cash rewards for TennCare fraud tips that lead to convictions. Anyone can report suspected TennCare fraud by calling 1-800-433-3982 toll-free from anywhere in Tennessee, or visit the website and follow the prompts that read “Report TennCare Fraud.”