|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 22, 2011
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE – An Overton County woman is charged for a second time with TennCare “doctor shopping,” or going to multiple doctors in a short period to obtain the same or similar controlled substances, using TennCare for payment.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of 36-year old Donna M. Adams. She was by the Putnam County Grand Jury on two counts of fraudulently obtaining controlled substances paid for by TennCare. Adams visited multiple physicians within a 30-day period to obtain prescriptions for the painkiller Endocet, a form of Oxycodone, and Opana, a painkiller similar to morphine. TennCare paid for the clinical visits.
Adams was arrested earlier this month - June 6 – after an Overton County grand jury charged her with two counts of “doctor shopping” for seeing multiple physicians within a 30-day period, receiving prescriptions for the same drugs, Oxycodone and Opana. TennCare paid for the physician office visits.
“This brought the number of TennCare fraud arrests to 32 for the month of June – and we’ve got another week ahead that could put us even further over out previous record for arrests in one month,” Inspector Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “We are continuing to work with local law enforcement, providers and the citizens of Tennessee to prosecute individuals who try to take advantage of the TennCare program.”
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years per charge in prison. District Attorney General Randy A. York will be prosecuting the Putnam 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, almost 1,500 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."