|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TUESDAY, JUNE 19, 2012
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE – A Roane County woman is charged for a third time in the past month with “doctor shopping,” or going to multiple doctors to obtain prescriptions for the same or similar controlled substances and using TennCare as payment.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of 33-year old Crystal G. Farrar, indicted by a Bedford County Grand Jury and charged with one count of fraudulently obtaining a controlled substance by doctor shopping. The charges accuse her of seeing multiple physicians within a 30-day period to obtain prescriptions for the painkiller Hydrocodone, using TennCare as payment for the doctor’s visit or the prescription.
Farrar was arrested last month, after a Cumberland County indictment charged her with one count of doctor shopping, then in the past week she was arrested for a second time for doctor shopping in Rhea County.
“Prescription drug abuse is a target of many communities across the state,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “With the assistance of medical providers and local law enforcement, the Office of Inspector General is sending a message that abusing TennCare by doctor shopping will have serious repercussions.”
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years per charge in prison. District Attorney General Charles Crawford will be prosecuting the Bedford County 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 1,600 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."