|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 2, 2011
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE – A Sumner County woman is charged a second time with “doctor shopping,” or going to multiple doctors in a short time period to obtain the same or similar controlled substances and using TennCare public healthcare insurance benefits to pay for the services.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of 42-year old Tonya R. Dill, of Gallatin. She’s been indicted by a Trousdale County Grand Jury and charged with five counts of fraudulently using TennCare to obtain controlled substances by “doctor shopping.”
Dill is accused of seeing multiple physicians without their knowledge inside a 30-day period, receiving prescriptions for the strong painkillers Oxycodone and Hydrocodone, with the physician office visits being paid for by TennCare.
Dill was arrested and charged with the same crime on January 14 of this year, after a Grand Jury indicted her on five counts of “doctor shopping,” for the same activity involving Hydrocodone, also using TennCare to pay for the prescriptions. In addition, Dill is charged by Gallatin Police with five counts of possession of a Schedule III controlled substance, Hydrocodone; and, 16 counts of obtaining possession of a Schedule IV controlled substance, an anti-anxiety drug called Alprazolam.
“Prescription drug abuse is a target of law enforcement officials and healthcare providers across Tennessee,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “With their help, we’re intent on eliminating this activity when it involves public dollars.”
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years per charge in prison. District Attorney Tom P. Thompson will be prosecuting the Trousdale County 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."