FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE, TN – A Fayette County woman accused of TennCare “doctor shopping” must pay $9,000 in fines after pleading guilty.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced that April M. Bishop, 37, of Somerville, pleaded guilty to three counts of TennCare fraud. She received probation for 12 years, along with $9,000 in court fines.
Bishop was arrested in September of last year on charges out of Hardeman County for three counts of TennCare “doctor shopping” for the painkiller Hydrocodone, using TennCare to pay for the prescriptions. District Attorney General D. Michael Dunavant prosecuted this case.
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony that carries a sentence of up to two years in prison. Obtaining a controlled substance by fraud is a Class D felony that carries a sentence of up to four years in prison. District Attorney General John W. Carney 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."