|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FRIDAY, APRIL 1, 2011
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE – A Giles County woman is charged for a second time in less than a week with “doctor shopping.” She’s accused of going to multiple doctors in a short period to obtain prescriptions for the same or similar controlled substances and using TennCare public healthcare insurance to pay the doctor, the pharmacy, or both.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG), with assistance from Metro Nashville Police and the Giles County Sheriff’s Office, today announced the arrest of Genia L. Conner also known as Lesbia Genia Stephens, 46, of Pulaski.
Conner is charged by a grand jury in Davidson County with two counts of fraudulently using TennCare to obtain controlled prescription drugs by “doctor shopping.” She is accused of going to multiple doctors in a 30-day period to get prescriptions for the painkiller Lortab. In this case, the physician office visits and prescriptions were paid for by TennCare.
Just days ago, on March 29, Conner was arrested and charged with the same crime. In that instance, a Giles County Grand Jury indicted her for “doctor shopping” for the painkiller Hydrocodone, using TennCare to pay for the physician office visits.
“Prescription drug abuse is a concern of communities large and small across Tennessee,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “With the help of providers, we’re sending a message that abusing TennCare will have serious repercussions.”
The TennCare fraud charge against Conner could result in a two year sentence, if convicted. District Attorney General Victor “Tory” S. Johnson 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 1,400 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."