|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 5, 2009
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
WARREN COUNTY PAIN CLINIC RAIDED AFTER OIG TENNCARE FRAUD INVESTIGATION
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A pain clinic in McMinnville is not in operation today, on the heels of an undercover investigation involving four law enforcement agencies.
The AmeriCare Urgent Care Clinic was raided by detectives from the Warren County Sheriff's Office, the McMinnville Police Department, agents from the Office of Inspector General and the TBI. The raid occurred after several months of intense undercover investigation that is continuing as agencies continue thorough review of research conducted on the clinic. No arrests have been made as of this release however a number of critical violations, including TennCare fraud, have been identified.
"Some of these so-called ‘pain clinics’ are legitimately providing a service to people who are suffering tremendous pain – such as athletes or people who with a continuing physical trauma – but many of them of are simply pill factories,” Inspector General Deborah Faulkner said. “We’re committed eliminating illegal prescription drug sales and the misuse of the TennCare program to support this habit.”
District Attorney General Lisa Zavogiannis led the multi-agency investigation, in an effort to eradicate what appeared to be an intricate operation involving prescription narcotics based on information received on AmeriCare Urgent Care Clinic. Arrests are pending.
The OIG, which is separate from TennCare, began full operation in February 2005 and has investigated cases leading to over $2.6 million paid in restitution and recoupment to TennCare, with a total estimated cost avoidance of over $165 million for the TennCare program, according to latest figures. To date, over 920 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."