FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE, TN – A Dickson County man is charged with TennCare fraud for selling prescription drugs paid for by TennCare.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of Brandon D. Bissinger, 34, of Dickson, after a joint investigation with the 23rd Judicial District Drug Task Force. He turned himself in at the Dickson County Sheriff’s Office.
Bissinger is charged with one count of TennCare fraud and two counts of sale of a Schedule III controlled substance. He is accused of obtaining the painkiller Hydrocodone using TennCare benefits while planning to sell a portion of the drugs.
“Painkillers are powerful and addictive drugs; although they clearly serve a purpose, the potential for abuse is high,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “Pharmacists are becoming more and more attuned to the red flags in cases where these kind of drugs are being abused.”
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison. The sale of a Schedule III controlled substance is a Class D felony, punishable by two to four years in prison per charge. District Attorney General Dan M. Alsobrooks 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 1,700 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."