|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 16, 2011
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE - A Maury County woman is charged with TennCare fraud for using TennCare healthcare insurance benefits to pay for a forged prescription.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of De’Shandria Clarise Brown, 19, of Columbia, after a joint investigation with the Maury County Sheriff’s Department.
Brown was arraigned in Maury County Circuit Court, where she appeared on related charges. She’s accused of presenting a forged prescription for the anti-anxiety drug Alprazolam to a pharmacy, using TennCare to pay for the forged prescription.
“We are working with local police and providers to help us get this kind of activity out of the TennCare program,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “We’re committed to eliminating the incidence of people fraudulently obtaining drugs and letting TennCare pick up the tab.”
The TennCare fraud charge against Brown could result in a two year sentence, if convicted. District Attorney General Mike Bottoms 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."