|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 11, 2012
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE – A Shelby County woman accused of getting TennCare benefits she was not eligible for must repay the state for medical and pharmacy services provided during the time she was a member of the state’s public healthcare insurance program.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced that 41-year old Chalet Fletcher of Memphis pleaded guilty to one count of TennCare fraud and one count of theft of property over $10,000, a Class C felony. She received three years judicial diversion and she must repay TennCare $21,460.05 for benefits paid on her behalf.
Fletcher was indicted in April of last year on the TennCare fraud and theft charges. She was accused of fraudulently reporting that her children lived with her in order to qualify and be approved for TennCare medical assistance benefits. District Attorney General Amy T. Weirich prosecuted this case.
“It’s troubling that anyone with resources would try to get enrolled in a program meant for people who truly need healthcare benefits through TennCare,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “We are pursuing and prosecuting these type cases all across the state.”
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."