|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TUESDAY, MARCH 1, 2011
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE – A Rutherford County man is charged in an indictment with TennCare fraud involving “doctor shopping,” which involves using TennCare to go to multiple doctors in a short time period to obtain prescriptions for a controlled substance.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG), with assistance from the Rutherford County Sheriff, today announced the arrest of Ronald B. Johnson, 52, of Murfreesboro. He is charged with three counts of fraudulently using TennCare to obtain a controlled substance by “doctor shopping.”
Johnson is accused of going to multiple doctors in a 30-day period, not telling physicians he had received prescriptions from other doctors for the strong painkillers Oxycodone and Hydrocodone, with TennCare paying for the physician office visits, the prescriptions, or both.
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years per charge in prison. District Attorney General William C. Whitesell, Jr., will be prosecuting this case.
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."