|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
THURSDAY, JULY 21, 2011
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE – A Shelby County woman is charged with TennCare fraud for gaining access to healthcare benefits provided by TennCare, even though she wasn’t eligible for the public healthcare program.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of Tjuanna Coburn, 27, of Bartlett. The arrest was assisted by the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office.
Coburn has been charged with one count of TennCare fraud in an indictment alleging that for over three years, she was enrolled in TennCare by means of a false statement and other fraudulent means, and obtained medical assistance benefits to which she was not entitled.
“People who misrepresent something about their current situation in order to qualify for TennCare are going to be caught and prosecuted,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “TennCare fraud is a felony, and a conviction could mean jail time, and paying the state back for any medical services received.”
The TennCare fraud charge against Coburn could result in a two year sentence, if convicted. District Attorney General Amy P. Weirich 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."