|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MONDAY, AUGUST 29, 2011
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE – A Cheatham County man is charged for a second time with TennCare “doctor shopping,” or going to multiple doctors in a short period to obtain the same or similar controlled substances.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG), with the assistance of Sheriff’s officers in Cheatham and Williamson Counties, today announced the arrest of 46-year old Robert Lewis Singleton, who was indicted by a Williamson County Grand Jury on two counts of fraudulently using TennCare to obtain a controlled substance by “doctor shopping.” Singleton failed to disclose to his doctor that he had seen another physician within a 30-day period and received the same or similar controlled substances with TennCare paying for either the clinical visit or for the payment of the controlled substance.
Singleton was previously arrested earlier this month, on August 3, stemming from a Grand Jury indictment in Cheatham County, where he was charged with two counts of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud and two counts of TennCare “doctor shopping.” He’s accused of going to more than one doctor in a 30-day period to obtain prescriptions for the painkiller Hydrocodone. Authorities say TennCare paid for the doctor’s office visits.
“Prescription drug abuse is a concern of communities large and small across Tennessee,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “With the help of medical providers and local law enforcement officers, we are sending a message that people on TennCare can’t abuse the program this way.”
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison per charge. District Attorney General Kim R. Helper 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, 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."