|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TUESDAY, MARCH 15, 2011
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE – A Montgomery County woman is charged with TennCare fraud involving “doctor shopping,” or using TennCare to go to multiple doctors in a short time period to obtain controlled substances.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG), with assistance of the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, today announced the arrest of Lisa Marie Tichenor, 42, of Clarksville. She is charged with four counts of TennCare fraud to obtain prescription drugs by “doctor shopping,” after seeing multiple physicians within a 30-day period to get prescriptions for the painkillers Oxycodone and Oxymorphine, with the office visits being paid for by TennCare.
“We’re very grateful for the assistance we receive from local police as well as pharmacies and providers who all want to bring an end to the abuse of TennCare, especially in the area of prescription drugs,” Inspector General Deborah Faulkner said. “We’ll keep pursuing people who commit these crimes as many times as it takes until they understand we’re not tolerating this type of abuse of the TennCare program.”
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison per charge. District Attorney General John W.Carney 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, over 1,380 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."