|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE, TN - A Knox County woman is charged in Anderson County with TennCare fraud for using TennCare to pay for fraudulent prescriptions for painkillers.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG), with assistance from the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office, today announced the arrest of Bobbi J. Hartsfield, 40, of Knoxville.
Hartsfield is charged with three counts of TennCare fraud and three counts of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud. Charges accuse her of three times presenting fraudulent prescriptions at a pharmacy for the painkiller Hydrocodone, using TennCare to pay for the forged prescriptions.
“We’re working with local police and medical providers to help stop this criminal activity,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “We are committed to eliminating TennCare fraud.”
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison per charge, and obtaining a controlled substance by fraud is a Class D felony, punishable by two to four years in prison per charge. District Attorney General David Clark 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."