|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FRIDAY, JULY 8, 2011
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE - A Coffee County woman is charged with two counts of TennCare fraud involving prescription drugs.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) announced the arrest of Vickie M. Collins, 38, of Manchester, after a joint investigation with the Coffee County Sheriff’s Office. Collins has been charged with one count of TennCare fraud. She is accused of filling a prescription for the painkiller Hydrocodone, which was paid for by TennCare, while intending to sell some of the prescription.
“We are working with municipal and county police officers across the state, as they often discover a TennCare element during local drug investigations,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “Local police are clearly committed to eliminating prescription drug abuse, and we are doing our part to stop the abuse of the TennCare program.”
The TennCare fraud charge against Collins could result in a two year sentence per charge, if convicted. District Attorney General C. Michael Layne 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, nearly 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."