|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TUESDAY, JUNE 26, 2012
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE – A Morgan County woman is charged in a Knox County indictment with TennCare fraud involving “doctor shopping,” or using TennCare to go to multiple doctors to obtain controlled substances.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG), with the assistance of the Knox County Sheriff’s Office, today announced the arrest of Kimberly S. Christian, 28, of Wartburg. She is charged with five counts of fraudulently using TennCare to obtain controlled substances by doctor shopping for prescription drugs, with physician office visits paid for with TennCare.
“Local police and healthcare providers are all working with us to bring an end to the abuse of the TennCare program, especially when it involves prescription drugs,” Inspector General Deborah Faulkner said. “We will continue to pursue people who commit this crime until they understand TennCare fraud will not be tolerated.”
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison per charge. District Attorney General Randall Nichols is prosecuting.
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."