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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
THURSDAY, MARCH 20, 2014

 
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
615.532.8560 (OFFICE)

    
     

LAUDERDALE COUNTY WOMAN CHARGED WITH
TENNCARE DOCTOR SHOPPING

NASHVILLE, TN – A Lauderdale County woman is charged in nearby Tipton County with TennCare fraud involving doctor shopping, or using TennCare to go to multiple doctors to obtain controlled substances.

The Office of Inspector General (OIG), with the assistance of the Tipton County Sheriff’s Office, today announced the arrest of Brenda Allen, 48, of Ripley.  She has been charged with three counts of doctor shopping for the pain killer Oxycodone, with the doctor’s office visits paid for by TennCare.

“Whether it’s the first time or the third time, we prosecute every case where we can obtain solid evidence,” Inspector General Deborah Faulkner said.  “We’re preventing an unknown number of subsequent crimes when we can get the message across that TennCare fraud is a road to jail.”

TennCare fraud involving doctor shopping is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years per charge in prison.  District Attorney General D. Michael Dunavant 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, 2,075 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."