|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 19, 2011
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE – A McMinn County man is charged in Bradley County with TennCare fraud involving “doctor shopping,” or using TennCare to go to multiple doctors within a month’s time to obtain prescriptions for controlled substances.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) with assistance from the Bradley County Sheriff today announced the charges against Charles E. Self, 43, of Etowah. He’s been arraigned on charges of fraudulently using TennCare to obtain a controlled substance by “doctor shopping.” Self visited more than one doctor with 30-days, receiving a prescription for the same or similar controlled substances, with the physician office visits being paid for by TennCare.
The TennCare fraud charge against Self could result in a two year sentence, if convicted. District Attorney General R. Steven Bibb is prosecuting.
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."