FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE, TN – A Sumner County woman is charged in an indictment for TennCare fraud involving “doctor shopping,” or using TennCare to go to multiple doctors to obtain prescriptions for a controlled substance.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) with the assistance of the Sumner County Sheriff’s Office, today announced the arrest Katherine L. Fry, 32, of Whitehouse. She is charged with seven counts of fraudulently using TennCare to obtain a controlled substance by “doctor shopping.” The drugs involved were both strong painkillers, Hydrocodone and Oxycodone.
“The rise in prescription drug abuse is prominent across the country,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “The difference in Tennessee is we have laws against ‘doctor shopping’ for drugs, and we are intent on eliminating the abuse of painkillers and similar drugs in TennCare.”
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison per charge. District Attorney General Lawrence R. Whitley 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 1,900 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."