|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE |
WEDNESDAY, May 23, 2012
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE – Two mid-state women are charged in separate cases with TennCare fraud involving prescription drugs. For one of the women, it’s the second time she’s been charged with TennCare fraud.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of Tiffany N. Reid, 29, and Regina O’Neal, 35, both of Nashville. Their arrests were assisted by the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department.
Tiffany Reid is charged with one count of TennCare fraud for attempting to obtain TennCare medical benefits she was not entitled to. She was first arrested last month when a warrant charged that she posed as an employee of a doctor’s office, calling in a prescription for the painkiller Hydrocodone and Alprazolam, which is an anti-anxiety medication. Reid attempted to use the TennCare benefits of another enrollee to pay for the Hydrocodone. Once she was identified by the pharmacist, Reid was apprehended as she was attempting to exit the store. That time, she was charged with one count of TennCare fraud, one count of forgery, and one count of attempting to obtain a legend drug by fraud.
Regina O’Neal has been charged with four counts of fraudulently using TennCare to obtain a controlled substance by doctor shopping. O’Neal failed to disclose to her doctor she had seen other physicians and received prescriptions for the painkillers Hydrocodone and Oxycodone, with the prescriptions being paid for by TennCare.
“The Office of Inspector General continues to swiftly pursue complaints regarding people who attempt to defraud TennCare especially those cases where the goal is to get prescription drugs,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “In Tennessee, we have zero tolerance for this criminal activity related to TennCare.”
If convicted, the TennCare fraud charges against Reid and O’Neal could result in a two-year sentence per charge. District Attorney General Victor S. Johnson, III 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 1,600 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."