|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 14, 2011
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE – Two men from Cannon County are charged with misusing the TennCare program, both involving prescription drugs.
Mr. Brown is charged with five counts of fraudulently using TennCare to obtain a controlled substance by “doctor shopping.” Brown saw multiple physicians within a 30-day period, receiving prescriptions for the strong painkillers Hydrocodone, Ultram, Cyclobenzaprine and Oxycodone, without revealing to the physicians that he’d received other prescriptions for the drugs. The physician office visits and prescriptions were paid for by TennCare.
Mr. McClure is charged with one count of TennCare fraud, accused of using TennCare benefits to obtain a prescription for Hydrocodone while planning to sell or distribute a portion of the drugs.
“Healthcare providers, local law enforcement officials, and state agencies are no longer tolerating this kind of blatant abuse of TennCare, especially when it relates to addictive prescription painkillers,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “We are intent on prosecuting every one of these cases to the fullest extent possible.”
The TennCare fraud charges could result in a two year sentence per charge, if convicted. District Attorney General William c. Whitesell, Jr., is prosecuting.
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."