|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 2009
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A Giles County woman is charged for the second time in two months with TennCare prescription drug fraud. This time, the charge is in Williamson County, after being charged last year in Maury County.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of Kathy L. Potts, 45. She is accused of filling a forged prescription for the painkiller Hydrocodone and paying for it with TennCare. She faces one count of TennCare fraud and one count of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud.
"We’re committed to winning the war against fraud and abuse in TennCare, and prescription drug abuse is a primary battleground in that effort,” Inspector General Deborah Faulkner said. “Unfortunately it sometimes takes more than one arrest to get that message to someone who’s addicted to or reselling prescription pain medication.”
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison. Obtaining controlled substances by fraud is a Class D felony that carries a sentence of up to four years in prison. District Attorney General Kim Helper is prosecuting.
Potts was previously arrested in Maury County in mid-December and charged with attempting to fill a forged prescription for the same drug, Hydrocodone, and paying for it with TennCare. She was charged with one count each of TennCare fraud and attempting to obtain a controlled substance by fraud.
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."