|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FRIDAY, JULY 16, 2010
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE – A Humphreys County man is charged for a third time for “doctor shopping,” or going to multiple doctors in a short period to obtain the same or similar controlled substances and using TennCare to pay for the visits.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of 40-year old Richard A. Hall. Hall was indicted by a Henry County Grand Jury with one count of “doctor shopping.” Hall failed to disclose to his doctor that he had seen another physician within a 30-day period and received a similar prescription for the painkiller Hydrocodone.
Hall was arrested on June 9 after a Montgomery County indictment charging him with three counts of “doctor shopping.” Just over a week later, on June 17, he was arrested for a second time and charged in Humphreys County with six counts of “doctor shopping.” In both previous arrests Hall failed to disclose to his physician he had seen another provider within a 30-day period and received prescriptions for the painkillers Hydrocodone and Oxycodone, with TennCare paying for the doctor visits or the drugs.
“People who break the law to get these addictive medications simply have not stopped to consider the risk they’re taking – and clearly, they will be caught,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “With the help of providers, we’re sending a message that abusing TennCare will have serious repercussions.”
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years per charge in prison. District Attorney General Hansel McCadams will be prosecuting the Henry County case.
The OIG, which is separate from TennCare, began full operation in February 2005 and has investigated cases leading to over $2.5 million paid in restitution and recoupment to TennCare, with a total estimated cost avoidance of over $171 million for the TennCare program, according to latest figures. To date, over 1,240 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."