|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 2009
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A Sequatchie County woman has been indicted for TennCare fraud involving “doctor shopping,” or using TennCare benefits to go to multiple doctors in a short time period to obtain controlled substances.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) with the assistance of the Sequatchie County Sheriff’s office today announced the arrest of Krissie N. Deweese, 28, of Dunlap.
Deweese is charged with one count of fraudulently using TennCare to obtain controlled substances by “doctor shopping.” An indictment says she received a prescription for the painkiller Percocet and failed to disclose to her doctor that she had seen other healthcare providers within a 30-day period and she had received prescriptions for the same or similar controlled substances.
"We have had an outstanding response from physicians and other medical providers across the state in our efforts to crack down on people who ‘doctor shop’ in the TennCare program,” Inspector General Deborah Faulkner said. “Tennesseans are fortunate to have this tool we can use against fraud in our public health insurance program.”
Deweese is currently under supervised state probation from a 2006 conviction for using her TennCare to obtain Oxycodone and then selling the controlled substance to an undercover agent. Her probation was to expire in March 2010, but this current arrest will violate her probation.
TennCare fraud involving doctor shopping is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison on each charge. District Attorney General J. Michael Taylor, III is prosecuting.
The OIG, which is separate from TennCare, began full operation in February 2005 and has investigated cases leading to over $2.6 million paid in restitution and recoupment to TennCare, with a total estimated cost avoidance of over $159 million for the TennCare program, according to latest figures.
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.tncarefraud.tennessee.gov and follow the prompts that read "Report TennCare Fraud."