|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 17, 2010
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE – A Hardin County woman has been charged in Hardeman County with TennCare fraud involving the resale of prescription medication.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced that 50-year old Darlene F. Hottiman, of Savannah, has been indicted on one count of TennCare fraud. Hottiman is accused of using TennCare benefits to obtain a prescription for the anti-anxiety medication Xanax and concealing the fact she planned to sell a portion of the pills. The Hardeman County Sheriff’s Department assisted the OIG with Hottiman’s arrest.
“Medical providers, law enforcement, and state agencies are no longer tolerating this kind of abuse of the TennCare program, especially when it relates to addictive prescription painkillers,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “We are intent on prosecuting every one of these cases to the fullest extent possible.”
If convicted, Hottiman could spend up to two years in prison. District Attorney General Michael Dunavant will prosecute.
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."