FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE, TN – A Cheatham County man is charged with TennCare fraud for using the taxpayer-funded healthcare insurance program to pay for a fraudulent prescription for a painkiller.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG), with the assistance of the Ashland City Police Department and the Cheatham County Sheriff’s Office, today announced the arrest of Daniel Lee Pritchett, 25, of Ashland City.
Pritchett is charged with one count each of TennCare fraud, obtaining a controlled substance by fraud, and identity theft. Pritchett is accused of altering a legitimate prescription written for another TennCare enrollee by adding Oxycodone, an addictive painkiller, and using the other person’s TennCare benefits to pay for the fraudulent prescription.
“Taxpayers, law enforcement and the healthcare community have targeted prescription drug abuse and are intent on stopping people involved in this crime,” Inspector General Deborah Faulkner said. “We are working to end this abuse in TennCare.”
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison. Obtaining a controlled substance by fraud and identity theft both are Class D felonies, punishable by two to four years in prison. District Attorney General Dan M. Alsobrooks 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, 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."