FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE, TN – A Davidson County woman is charged in an indictment with TennCare fraud involving doctor shopping, or using the state’s Medicaid benefits to go to multiple doctors in a short period of time in order to obtain controlled substances.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG), with assistance from the Metro Nashville Police Department, today announced the arrest of 38-year old Linda A. Lewis, also known as Alexis Cooper and as India Cooper, of Nashville.
She is charged with nine counts of fraudulently using TennCare to obtain controlled substances by doctor shopping, receiving prescriptions for the painkillers Hydrocodone and Tramadol. TennCare paid for either the clinical visits or the drugs. In addition, Lewis was also charged with nine counts of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud.
“We are intent on eliminating this activity in TennCare,” Inspector General Deborah Faulkner said. “With the help of agencies like Metro Nashville police, we’re getting out in front of this problem as it relates to TennCare.”
TennCare fraud involving doctor shopping is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years per charge in prison. Obtaining a controlled substance by fraud is a Class D felony that carries a sentence of up to four years in prison per charge. District Attorney General Victor S. Johnson, III 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, 2,053 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."