|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2011
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE – A Putnam County woman is charged for the second time with TennCare “doctor shopping,” or going to multiple doctors in a short period to obtain the same or similar controlled substances.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of 53-year old Anna R. Ledford, of Monterey. An indictment out of Smith County accuses her of fraudulently using TennCare to obtain a controlled substance by “doctor shopping,” for seeing more than one physician in a 30-day period to get prescriptions for the painkillers Morphine and Endocet, with the physician’s visit and prescriptions being paid for with TennCare benefits. Ledford was charged an additional count of TennCare fraud for using her benefits to obtain a prescription for Morphine Sulfate and concealing the fact that she planned to sale a portion of the drugs.
Ledford was arrested last month after a Rutherford County grand jury indicted her for three counts of “doctor shopping.” In that case, she was accused of receiving prescriptions for the strong painkillers Morphine, Oxycodone and Endocet. TennCare paid for both the physician office visits and the prescriptions.
“We have open cases in almost every county in Tennessee,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “We’re committed to stopping this type of illegal activity.”
The TennCare fraud charges against Ledford could result in a two year sentence per charge, if convicted. District Attorney General Tom P. Thompson 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."