|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2011
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE – A Roane County woman is charged with TennCare fraud for filling a fraudulent prescription and using TennCare healthcare insurance benefits to pay for it.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of Amber D. Feezell, 28, of Kingston. The Roane County Sheriff’s Office assisted with the arrest.
Feezell has been charged with one count of TennCare fraud, one count of identity theft and one count of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud. The charges against Feezell allege that she presented a forged prescription to a local Walgreens Pharmacy for the painkiller Oxycodone bearing the name and DEA number of a healthcare provider, which she was unauthorized to use. Further, the charges say she planned to sell a portion of the drugs.
“Pharmacies and healthcare providers are alert to the tactics some are using to obtain prescription painkillers at taxpayer expense,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “We are engaged in a continuing collaboration with Tennessee pharmacies and doctors in a common goal to aggressively prosecuting individuals who commit TennCare fraud.”
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony, carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison. Obtaining a controlled substance by fraud and identity theft both are Class D felonies that carries a sentence of up to four years in prison per charge. District Attorney Russell Johnson 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."