FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE, TN – A Knox County woman is charged with TennCare fraud for the second time in as many months.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of 48-year old Lisa D. Phillips, indicted by the Hamblen County Grand Jury for fraudulently obtaining a controlled substance by “doctor shopping” for drugs, using TennCare benefits as payment. Phillips is accused of “doctor shopping” for the painkiller Hydrocodone. The Hamblen County Sheriff’s Office assisted the OIG with this arrest.
Phillips was arrested last month after an indictment in Knox County, where whe is charged with eight counts of “doctor shopping” for controlled substances.
“Anyone who abuses their TennCare benefits in this way will be investigated and prosecuted by the Office of Inspector General,” Inspector General Deborah Faulkner said. “Law enforcement will continue to send the message that prescription drug crimes will not be tolerated.”
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years per charge in prison. District Attorney General C. Berkeley Bell will be prosecuting the Hamblen County case.
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, over 1,700 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."