|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TUESDAY, MAY 18, 2010
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Two Scott County residents are charged with TennCare fraud involving prescription drugs.
Hill is charged with one count of TennCare fraud, a Class E felony, for selling a portion of a prescription to an undercover agent. The drug involved was Suboxone, a medication similar to morphine or heroin, but less addictive. The prescription was paid for by her TennCare benefits.
In the other case, Emit Bowling is charged with one count of TennCare fraud for selling the painkiller Oxycodone, part of which was obtained through TennCare.
“Selling drugs to others that were paid for with taxpayer money is illegal and intolerable, and we pursue these cases to the greatest extent,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “People who try to do this are desperate and desperate people get caught, that’s the bottom line.”
District Attorney William Paul Phillips will prosecute. If convicted, Hill and Bowling could serve up to two years for TennCare fraud, which are Class E felonies.
The OIG, which is separate from TennCare, began full operation in February 2005 and has investigated cases leading to over $2.5 million paid in restitution and recoupment to TennCare, with a total estimated cost avoidance of over $171 million for the TennCare program, according to latest figures. To date, over 1,100 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."