|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, February 17, 2012
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE, TN - A Shelby County woman is charged with TennCare fraud in an arrest involving “doctor shopping,” or using TennCare 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 Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, today announced the arrest of Daphne M. Washington, 42, of Memphis. The arrest warrant charges Washington with one count of fraudulently using TennCare to obtain controlled substances by “doctor shopping.” She is accused of seeing multiple physicians within a 30-day period, receiving prescriptions for the painkiller Hydrocodone and Xanax, an anti-anxiety medication, and using TennCare as payment.’
"We are aggressively pursuing people who commit TennCare fraud, from one end of the state to the other," Inspector General Deborah Faulkner said. "We are especially focused on prescription drug abuse involving TennCare."
TennCare fraud involving doctor shopping is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison. District Attorney General Amy T. Weirich 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, nearly 1,500 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."