|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FRIDAY, JUNE 22, 2012
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE – A Cocke County woman is charged for a second time with TennCare “doctor shopping,” which is going to multiple physicians to obtain the same or similar controlled substances.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG), with the assistance of the Knox and Hamilton County Sheriff’s Offices today announced the arrest of 27-year old Nichole Weyman of Cosby. In a Hamilton County indictment, she is charged with one count of “doctor shopping” for the painkiller Hydrocodone, using TennCare as payment.
Weyman was arrested earlier this month after a Knox County indictment for the same charge – doctor shopping for drugs, using TennCare as payment.
“Using today’s technology, we can quickly identify people who are getting multiple prescriptions for painkillers and other drugs, as well as those who visit several physicians in a short period of time,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “In Tennessee, we have laws in place to pursue charges for ‘doctor shopping’ activity, and we will continue to weed this crime out of the TennCare program.”
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison per charge. District Attorney General William H. Cox is prosecuting the Hamilton 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."