FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE, TN – A Warren County man is charged in a Putnam County indictment with TennCare fraud involving “doctor shopping,” or using TennCare to go to different doctors in a short period of time in order to obtain a controlled substance.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG), with the assistance of the Warren and Putnam County Sheriff’s Offices, today announced the arrest of Charles A. Driver, 36, of McMinnville. He is charged with fraudulently using TennCare to obtain prescriptions for the painkiller Hydrocodone by “doctor shopping.” The office visits were paid for by TennCare.
“The fraudulent misuse of TennCare benefits is a serious issue but we are cracking down on these cases,” Inspector General Deborah Faulkner said. “Physicians across the state have been a tremendous help to our efforts to stop this criminal activity.”
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison. District Attorney General Randall A. York will be prosecuting this case.
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 1,800 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."