FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE, TN – A Rutherford County woman is charged with TennCare fraud for using the state’s public healthcare insurance program to pay for a fraudulent prescription for painkillers.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG), with the assistance of the Murfreesboro Police Department, today announced the arrest of Katherine L. Johnson, 29, of Murfreesboro. Charges against her say she presented a fraudulent prescription for the strong painkiller Oxycodone, using TennCare benefits to pay for the forged prescription.
“We are working with local police and providers to help us get this kind of activity out of the TennCare program,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “We’re committed to eliminating the incidence of people fraudulently obtaining drugs and letting TennCare pick up the tab.”
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison. District Attorney General William C. Whitesell, Jr. 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."