|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FRIDAY, AUGUST 27, 2010
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE – After eluding authorities for the last eight months, a Davidson County woman charged with TennCare fraud involving “doctor shopping” has been arrested. The crime involves using TennCare to go to multiple doctors in a short time period to obtain prescriptions for a controlled substance.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) with the assistance of the Metro Nashville Police Department today announced the arrest of Jacqueline D. Barber, 50, of Madison. Barber was indicted by a Davidson County Grand Jury in October 2009, when she was charged with two counts of fraudulently using TennCare to obtain a controlled substance by “doctor shopping.” Barber is accused of failing to disclose to her doctor that she had seen other physicians within a 30-day period and received a prescription for the strong painkiller Hydrocodone, with the physician office visits and/or the prescriptions being paid for by TennCare.
"The practice of ‘doctor shopping’ is simply against the law within the TennCare program, and we are enforcing that law to the fullest extent,” Inspector General Deborah Faulkner said. “Doctors, pharmacists, and citizens have supported us tremendously in this effort and are helping us develop these cases.”
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years per charge in prison. District Attorney General Victor S. "Tory" Johnson, III, will be prosecuting this case.
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."