FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE, TN – A Davidson County woman is charged with TennCare fraud involving “doctor shopping,” or using TennCare to go to multiple doctors in a short time period to obtain controlled substances.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG), with the assistance of Nashville Metro Police, today announced the arrest of Kristie Cheri Casey, 28, of Nashville. A two-count indictment accuses her of “doctor shopping” for the painkiller Oxycodone, with the physician office visits and/or the prescriptions being paid for with TennCare benefits.
“It’s not easy for a physician or pharmacist to be able to tell the difference between a legitimate patient and a drug abuser, but providers in Tennessee have developed a good sense of distinguishing the abusers,” Inspector General Deborah Faulkner said. “We’re all committed to ensuring that TennCare benefits are used for legitimate healthcare purposes, not for abuse or resale.”
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison per charge. District Attorney General Victor S. Johnson, III is prosecuting.
The OIG, which is separate from TennCare, began full operation in February 2005 and has investigated cases leading to over $3.5 million paid in restitution and recoupment to TennCare, with a total estimated cost avoidance of over $173 million for the TennCare program, according to latest figures. To date, over 1,700 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 log on to www.tn.gov/tnoig and follow the prompts that read "Report TennCare Fraud."