|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MONDAY, AUGUST 15, 2011
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE – A Coffee County woman is charged – for the second time in as many months – with TennCare fraud.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of Vickie Mae Zahn Collins, 38, of Manchester. This arrest was assisted by the Warren and Coffee County Sheriff’s Offices.
A Warren County Grand Jury indicted Collins for one count of TennCare fraud for knowingly obtaining medical assistance benefits she was not entitled to by means of false statement or concealment of material facts.
Collins was just arrested last month on a TennCare fraud charge, also in Coffee County. She was accused of filling a prescription for the painkiller Hydrocodone, which was paid for by TennCare, while planning to sell a portion of the drugs.
“The fraudulent use of TennCare benefits is a serious issue and the OIG is cracking down on these cases even harder,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “Crucial to our success is the cooperation of healthcare providers and local law enforcement agencies.”
The TennCare fraud charge against Collins could result in a two year sentence if convicted. District Attorney General Lisa S. Zavogiannis is prosecuting the Warren County charges.
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."