|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 19, 2011
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE – A Humphreys County man is charged for a fourth time with “doctor shopping,” or going to multiple doctors in a short period to obtain the same or similar controlled substances.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) with assistance from the Humphrey’s and Dickson County Sheriff’s Offices today announced the arrest of 40-year old Richard A. Hall. Hall was indicted by a Dickson County Grand Jury and charged with six counts of “doctor shopping” or fraudulently obtaining controlled substance benefits paid for by TennCare. Hall went to multiple physicians within a 30-day period, receiving the same or similar prescriptions for the painkillers Hydrocodone and Oxycodone.
Last summer, Hall was arrested three times with a five-week period for the same charge – using TennCare benefits to doctor shop for drugs. His first arrest was on June 9 involving three doctor shopping charges in Montgomery County. Just over a week later, on June 17, 2010, he was arrested for a second time and charged in Humphreys County with six counts of doctor shopping. Only a month later, on July 15, 2010, Hall was arrested for a third time in Henry County and charged with one count of “doctor shopping.” In all three previous arrests, Hall failed to disclose to his physician he had seen another provider within a 30-day period and received prescriptions for the painkillers Hydrocodone and Oxycodone, with TennCare paying for the doctor visits or the drugs.
“Prescription drug abuse cannot be tolerated in our communities in Tennessee in urban or rural areas,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “The OIG continues to be relentless in our pursuit of anyone who misuses the TennCare program.”
District Attorney General Dan M. Alsobrooks will be prosecuting the Dickson County case.
The OIG, which is separate from TennCare, began full operation in February 2005 and has investigated cases leading to over $2.5 million paid in restitution and recoupment to TennCare, with a total estimated cost avoidance of over $171 million for the TennCare program, according to latest figures. To date, over 1,300 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."