|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FRIDAY, JANUARY 6, 2012
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE – A Hardeman County woman is charged for a second time with “doctor shopping,” or going to multiple doctors in a short period to obtain the same or similar controlled substances, and using TennCare to pay the way.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of 56-year old Charlotte Lee Woods. She was indicted by the Hardeman County Grand Jury with two counts of fraudulently using her TennCare benefits to obtain a controlled substance by “doctor shopping.”
Woods is accused of obtaining the painkiller Hydrocodone in visits to multiple physicians in 30-day period for prescriptions and then using TennCare to pay for the drugs.
Woods was once before for the same charge – in a Shelby County indictment released in April of last year.
“Prescription drug abuse is being targeted by communities large and small across Tennessee,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “With the help of medical providers we are sending a message that using TennCare to obtain prescription drugs for resale will have serious criminal repercussions.”
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years per charge in prison. District Attorney General D. Michael Dunavant will be 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, nearly 1,500 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."