|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TUESDAY, MAY 3, 2011
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE - A Knox County man is charged with TennCare fraud involving “doctor shopping,” or using TennCare to go to multiple doctors in a short time period to obtain controlled prescription substances.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG), with the assistance of the Knox County Sheriff’s Office, today announced the arrest of James Gregory Jarvis, 44, of Knoxville. Jarvis has been charged with five counts of fraudulently using TennCare to obtain controlled substances by “doctor shopping.”
jarvis failed to disclose to his doctor that he had seen other physicians within a 30-day period and received prescriptions for the same or similar controlled substances. In addition, Jarvis was also charged with eights counts of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud. Jarvis obtained both the painkiller Lortab and the anti-anxiety medication Xanax, with the physician office visits being paid for by TennCare.
TennCare fraud involving doctor shopping is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years per charge in prison. Obtaining a controlled substance by fraud is a Class D felony that carries a sentence of up to four years in prison per charge. District Attorney General Randall Nichols 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."