|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FRIDAY, MARCH 6, 2009
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A Rhea County woman is charged with TennCare fraud for altering a prescription for pain medication and attempting to have TennCare pay for it.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) and the Rhea County Sheriff’s Office today announced that 24-year old Shawnie Lynn Cranmore has been charged with TennCare fraud and fraudulently obtaining a controlled substance, for attempting to use TennCare to pay for a fraudulent prescription for the painkiller Hydrocodone.
The charges against Cranmore say she committed forgery in trying to obtain a controlled substance from a pharmacy in Chattanooga.
“Prescription drug fraud is a crime we are no longer tolerating in the TennCare program, with the help of local police and healthcare providers,” Inspector General Deborah Faulkner said. “Medical providers, law enforcement agencies and state offices are all working together in the war against TennCare fraud.”
If convicted, Cranmore could be sentenced up to two years on the TennCare fraud charge, a Class E felony, and up to four years on the charge of obtaining a controlled substance, a Class D felony. District Attorney General William H. Cox 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 $2.6 million paid in restitution and recoupment to TennCare, with a total estimated cost avoidance of over $159 million for the TennCare program, according to latest figures. To date, over 900 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.tncarefraud.tennessee.gov and follow the prompts that read "Report TennCare Fraud."