|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
THURSDAY, May 31, 2012
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE – A Cheatham County woman is charged with using the TennCare public healthcare insurance program to pay for a fraudulent prescription in nearby Robertson County.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of Andrea Jeanette Harris, 45, of Ashland City. The arrest is the result of a joint effort with the 19th Judicial Drug Task Force.
Harris is accused of presenting a fraudulent prescription for the strong pain medication Opana ER, also known as Oxymorphone, and using TennCare to pay for the prescription. She faces one count of TennCare fraud and one count of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud.
“The Office of Inspector General is working with local police and medical providers throughout the state to help us stop TennCare fraud,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “We are committed to eliminating the incidence of people fraudulently obtaining drugs and letting TennCare pick up the tab.”
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison, and obtaining a controlled substance by fraud is a Class D felony, punishable by two to four years in prison. District Attorney General John W. Carney 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.