|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 18, 2009
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A Davidson County woman has been arrested a second time for “doctor shopping,” or going to multiple doctors in a short period to obtain the same or similar controlled substances, and using TennCare to pay for them.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) along with the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department today announced the arrest of 33-year old Lesley Carter, of Hermitage. Carter was indicted for three counts of fraudulently obtaining a controlled substance by “doctor shopping” and four counts of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud. Carter failed to disclose to her doctor that she had seen another physician within a 30-day period and received similar prescriptions for the strong painkillers Lortab and Oxycodone. TennCare paid for the clinical visits or the drugs.
Carter was previously arrested by the OIG in October 2008 stemming from a Wilson County Grand Jury indictment charging her with two counts of “doctor shopping” related to the same addictive drugs, with TennCare paying for the office visits.
"Prescription drug abuse is a serious problem that is being addressed by law enforcement and healthcare providers in large and small communities across Tennessee,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “The ‘doctor shopping’ law is a welcome tool for providers who were concerned about this activity.”
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years per charge in prison. District Attorney General Victor S. Johnson, III will be 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."