|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 8, 2009
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A Giles County woman has been charged for the third time in four months with TennCare prescription drug fraud.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of Kathy L. Potts, 45, of Columbia. She is accused of one county of TennCare fraud for filling a forged prescription for the painkiller Lortab and paying for it with TennCare. After being charged in Williamson and Giles Counties, the charge this time is in Lewis County.
Potts was arrested in Giles County in December of last year, charged with attempting to fill a forged prescription for the painkiller hydrocodone and paying for it with TennCare. She was arrested again in February in Williamson County and charged with filling a forged prescription for the same prescription painkiller, hydrocodone, and using TennCare to pay for the drug.
TennCare fraud is a class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison. Obtaining a controlled substance by fraud is a class D felony that carries a sentence of up to four years in prison. District Attorney General Kim Helper is prosecuting.
The OIG, which is separate from TennCare, began full operation in February 2005 and has investigated cases leading to over $2.6 million paid in restitution and recoupment to TennCare, with a total estimated cost avoidance of over $159 million for the TennCare program, according to latest figures. To date, over 900 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.tncarefraud.tennessee.gov and follow the prompts that read "Report TennCare Fraud."