|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FRIDAY, MAY 22, 2009
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A Morgan County woman is charged with TennCare fraud for selling prescription drugs obtained through TennCare healthcare insurance benefits.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of 40-year old Michele Grant, of Philadelphia. The arrest was the result of a joint effort with the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office and the Loudon County Sheriff’s Office.
Grant was indicted on charges of obtaining a prescription for Fentanyl, using TennCare to partially pay for the prescription, and then selling a portion of it. Fentanyl is a controlled substance pain patch.
“Drug diversion – selling prescription drugs – will not be tolerated in the TennCare program,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “People who participate in selling drugs paid for by TennCare – and those who buy them – should understand this is a serious crime we intend to prosecute.”
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison. District Attorney General Russell Johnson is prosecuting.
The OIG, which is separate from TennCare, began full operation in February 2005 and has investigated cases leading to over $2.6 million paid in restitution and recoupment to TennCare, with a total estimated cost avoidance of over $165 million for the TennCare program, according to latest figures. To date, over 920 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."