FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE, TN – A Coffee County woman is charged with TennCare fraud in connection with using the program to obtain prescription drugs, which she apparently later sold.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG), with the assistance of the Coffee County Sheriff’s Office and the Manchester Police Department, today announced the arrest of Lisa Diane Couch, 42, of Manchester.
Couch is charged in an indictment with presenting a pharmacy with a prescription for the painkiller Hydrocodone, using TennCare to pay for the prescription with the intention of selling a portion of the drugs.
“We intend to stop the abuse of TennCare for the purpose of obtaining and selling prescription drugs, especially strong painkillers,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said.
The TennCare fraud charges against Couch could result in a two year sentence if convicted. District Attorney General C. Michael Layne 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."