|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 17, 2008
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE - A Putnam County woman has been indicted for “doctor shopping,” or going to multiple doctors in a short time period to get prescriptions for controlled substances and using TennCare to pay for the visits.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of Georgia I. Slagle, 53, of Crossville. Slagle is charged with one count of fraudulently obtaining prescription painkillers by “doctor shopping” and one count of attempted “doctor shopping.”
Slagle received a prescription for a generic form of a time-release morphine, and is accused of failing to tell her doctor that she had seen another physician within a 30-day period and received prescription for the same painkiller. Slagle also used TennCare to pay for the prescription.
“The ‘doctor shopping’ law passed by the Legislature this year has allowed us to crack down on people using TennCare to go from doctor to doctor to get pain medications,” Inspector General Deborah Faulkner said. “Physicians across the state have welcomed the opportunity to do something about this problem.”
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years per charge in prison. Acting District Attorney General Anthony J. Craighead is prosecuting.
The OIG, a law enforcement agency separate from TennCare, began full operation in February 2005 and has worked cases leading to the arrest of over 760 individuals for TennCare fraud, with nearly $1 million paid in restitution to TennCare, and total estimated cost avoidance in TennCare of over $122 million, according to latest figures.
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.tncarefraud.tennessee.gov nd follow the prompts that read "Report TennCare Fraud."