|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 22, 2011
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE - A Warren County man is back in his home county to face TennCare fraud involving “doctor shopping,” after he was arrested in Florida.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of Ivy A. Carter, Jr., 48, of Port Orange, Florida. He was charged by the OIG in March of last year with three counts of fraudulently using TennCare to obtain a controlled substance by “doctor shopping,” or going to multiple physicians for prescriptions, usually for painkillers or controlled substances. Carter received prescriptions for the painkiller hydrocodone, with the drugs being paid for with TennCare benefits.
“Providers, local law enforcement and state agencies are not tolerating this kind of blatant abuse of TennCare, especially when it relates to addictive prescription painkillers,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “We are intent on prosecuting every one of these cases to the fullest extent when the TennCare program is involved.”
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years per charge in prison. District Attorney Charles Crawford 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 1,400 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."