FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE, TN – A Monroe County woman is charged in a McMinn Count indictment with TennCare fraud involving doctor shopping, or using TennCare to go to multiple doctors to obtain controlled substances.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) with the assistance of the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department today announced the arrest of Crystal Udovich, 31, of Sweetwater. She is charged with two counts of fraudulently using TennCare to obtain controlled substances by doctor shopping for controlled substances, with the physician office visits and/or the prescriptions being paid for with TennCare benefits.
“The unauthorized use and abuse of prescription drugs is a major target of law enforcement in Tennessee,” Inspector General Deborah Faulkner said. “We are committed to ensuring TennCare benefits are not abused for any purpose.”
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison per charge. District Attorney General Steven Bebb 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, 2,049 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."