FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE, TN – A Giles County man is charged in Marshall County with TennCare fraud involving doctor shopping for drugs, using TennCare as payment.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of Joseph Eugene Bowen, 25, of Lynnville.
A Marshall County Grand Jury indicted Bowen, and charged him with fraudulently obtaining controlled substances with TennCare benefits by doctor shopping for the painkiller Hydrocodone. He used TennCare to pay for either the clinical visits or the prescriptions.
Bowen was first arrested in April 11 of this year in Giles County when he was charged with two counts of fraudulently obtaining TennCare controlled substance benefits by doctor shopping.
“The unauthorized use and abuse of prescription drugs is a serious public health threat for our communities,” Inspector General Deborah Faulkner said. “The Office of Inspector General is committed to eliminating this type of abuse of the TennCare program.”
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison. District Attorney General Robert Carter is prosecuting the Marshall County case.
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, over 1,900 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."