|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MONDAY, AUGUST 2, 2010
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE – Two people in the midstate area are charged with TennCare “doctor shopping,” or going to multiple doctors in a short period to obtain the same or similar controlled substances and using TennCare to pay providers. A Meigs County woman is charged in Monroe County, and a Lewis County man is arrested in Dickson County for “doctor shopping.”
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of Sherry B. Hall, 55, of Ten Mile and Scott D. Wallace, 34, of Hohenwald. Hall’s arrest was assisted by the Meigs and Monroe County Sheriff’s Office.
Charges accuse Hall of failing to disclose to her doctor that she had seen other physicians within a 30-day period and received prescriptions for the painkillers Lortab and Darvocet. The physician office visits were paid for by TennCare. She was also arrested in June of this year in Roane County, where she was first charged “doctor shopping” related to seeing multiple physicians for Darvocet.
Scott D. Wallace is charged on an indictment from Dickson County with three counts of “doctor shopping” for failing to disclose to his physician that he had seen another physician within a 30 day period and received a prescription for the painkiller Oxycodone. The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office, Maury County Sheriff’s Office and the 21st Judicial District Attorney’s Office assisted the OIG in this arrest.
"People who are desperate for drugs for their own use or for resale don’t really think through the consequences of their actions, and we are committed to tracking every lead on these crimes,” Inspector General Deborah Faulkner said. “Physicians and pharmacists across the state are working with us to stop this activity in the TennCare program.”
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years per charge in prison. District Attorney General Steven Bebb of Monroe County will prosecute Sherry Hall. District Attorney General Dan M. Alsobrooks of Dickson County will prosecute Scott Wallace.
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."