|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MONDAY, JANUARY 24, 2011
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE – A Lewis County man is in two counties 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) announced the arrest of Scott Wallace, 34, of Hohenwald. The Lewis and Maury County Sheriff’s offices assisted.
In Lewis County, Wallace is indicted on one count of TennCare fraud and a Maury County Grand Jury indicted Wallace on two counts of TennCare fraud, with all charges involving “doctor shopping.”
In both incidents, Wallace visited multiple physicians within a 30-day period and received prescriptions for the painkillers Oxycodone, Endocet and Hydrocodone. In both cases, the physician office visit or the prescriptions were paid for by TennCare.
"The ‘doctor shopping’ law passed by the Legislature is a valuable tool in cracking down on people who are abusing the program,” Inspector General Deborah Faulkner said. “Physicians across the state have applauded this law and our efforts to stop this abuse of the TennCare program.”
The TennCare fraud charges against Wallace could result in a two-year sentence per charge, if convicted. District Attorney General Mike Bottoms is prosecuting the Maury County Case and District Attorney General Kim R. Helper will prosecute the Lewis 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."