|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 18, 2010
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE - Three people in Coffee County – including two who are sisters – are charged with TennCare fraud.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) along with the Manchester and Tullahoma Police Departments today announced the arrests, all involving the sale of prescription drugs. The three arrested are:
“Healthcare providers, local law enforcement, and state agencies are working together to stop this kind of blatant abuse of TennCare, especially when it relates to addictive prescription painkillers,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “The Office of Inspector General is intently focused on seeking and prosecuting every one of these cases to the fullest extent possible.”
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison per charge. District Attorney General C. Michael Layne will be prosecuting all three cases.
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 "