|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE |
Thursday, April 26, 2012
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE, TN - A Humphreys County woman is charged in nearby Dickson County with TennCare fraud involving “doctor shopping,” or visiting multiple physicians in a short period of time in order to get prescription drugs.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG), with the assistance of Humphreys and Dickson County Sheriff’s officers, today announced the arrest of Angela Dawn Werfel, 49, of Waverly. Werfel is charged with two counts of fraudulently using TennCare to obtain a controlled substance by “doctor shopping.” An indictment accuses her of trying to obtain prescriptions for the strong painkiller Oxycodone, with the prescriptions being paid for by TennCare.
“With today’s technology, we can get a better look at prescription drug use and identify situations that may be abusive,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “We’re intent on eliminating this abuse in the TennCare program.”
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years per charge in prison. District Attorney General Dan M. Alsobrooks will be prosecuting this case.
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 1,600 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."