|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 10, 2009
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER615.532.8560 (OFFICE)615.202.0701 (CELL)
MACON COUNTY WOMAN MUST REPAY STATE NEARLY $35,000
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A Macon County woman accused of getting TennCare benefits she was not eligible for must repay the state for medical and pharmacy services provided through TennCare.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced that 35-year old Gena Deshea Satterfield of Hartsville received pre-trial diversion for one-year and she must repay TennCare $34,272.52 for benefits paid on her behalf.
Satterfield was indicted nearly a year ago on the felony theft of services charge and TennCare fraud for not reporting her income – or her husband’s income – in order to obtain TennCare for herself and her two children. The actual household income would have made them ineligible for TennnCare benefits.
“The state’s healthcare insurance program is for people who are eligible for the program, and it’s disappointing when someone with resources tries to access benefits designed for people who may be less fortunate and in poor health,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “We are pursuing and prosecuting these type cases all across the state.”
District Attorney General Tom P. Thompson prosecuted 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 1,000 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."