FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE, TN – A Davidson County woman is charged in an indictment with TennCare fraud 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 assistance from Metro Nashville Officers, today announced the arrest of Tarah Nicole Rogers, 35, of Old Hickory. She is charged with four counts of fraudulently using TennCare to obtain controlled substances by “doctor shopping.”
Rogers failed to disclose to her doctor she had seen other physicians within a short time period and received prescriptions for the strong painkillers Oxycodone and Lortab, with the physician office visits and/or the prescriptions being paid for with TennCare benefits.
“Going from doctor to doctor for the purpose of getting prescription painkillers is a crime we plan to stop in the TennCare program,” Inspector General Deborah Faulkner said. “Some people do this to feed their own habit, some people sell the drugs, or do both – but it’s unacceptable behavior, especially when public dollars are used to fund the activity.”
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison per charge. District Attorney General Victor S. Johnson, III, 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, over 1,700 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."