|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
THURSDAY, MAY 19, 2011
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE – Two people in Stewart County are charged with TennCare fraud in separate cases that involve prescription drugs.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG), along with the Stewart County Sheriff and the 23rd Judicial District Drug Task Force, today announced the arrests of Kyle Compton, 23, and Kayla Odom, 22 both of Dover.
Compton is accused of two counts of TennCare fraud in an indictment that says on at least two occasions, he used TennCare benefits to fraudulently obtain a prescription for the painkiller Oxycodone. On both occasions, he apparently planned to sell a portion of the drugs.
Odom is charged with one count of fraudulently using TennCare to obtain controlled substances by “doctor shopping,” and one count of TennCare fraud. She failed to disclose to her doctor that she had seen other physicians within a 30-day period and received prescriptions for the same or similar controlled substances, with the physician office visits being paid for by TennCare. On a separate occasion, Odom fraudulently obtained a prescription for Suboxone, a painkiller used to treat addiction to morphine and heroin. The prescriptions were paid for TennCare.
“These cases really show us the lengths some people will go to simply to get access to prescription painkillers,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “Many of them don’t count of getting caught, but there are too many people who want to end this abuse of the TennCare program, and we are all working together to that end.”
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison per charge. District Attorney General Dan 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 1,400 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."