|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2011
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE – A Blount County woman is charged in a Knox County 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 the assistance of the Knox County Sheriff’s Office today announced the arrest of Kacy Harvey, also known as Kacy Hill 37, of Alcoa. Harvey has been charged with four counts of fraudulently using TennCare to obtain controlled substances by “doctor shopping.” She is accused of going to multiple physicians in a 30-day period with the purpose of receiving prescriptions for controlled substances, without revealing to doctors her other visits, all paid for with TennCare.
"Before the ‘doctor shopping’ law was passed, we couldn’t do anything about this activity, but physicians across the state are eager to help us identify these cases because we can do something about this crime,” Inspector General Deborah Faulkner said. “Before the ‘doctor shopping’ law, physicians’ hands were tied and now they’re calling us, often as soon as the patient leaves the office.”
TennCare fraud involving doctor shopping is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years per charge in prison. District Attorney General Randall E. Nichols 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."