|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MONDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2011
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE– A Dyer County woman has been arrested a second time for “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) today announced the arrest of 20-year old Priscilla Carol Rickman, who was indicted by the Crockett County Grand Jury on two counts of fraudulently obtaining a controlled substance by “doctor shopping.” The charges say she went to multiple doctors within a 30-day period, receiving prescriptions for the same or similar controlled substances. TennCare paid for the clinical visits.
Rickman was previously arrested October 25, after a grand jury indictment in Dyer County, charging her with four counts of “doctor shopping.” She turned herself in to the Dyer County Sheriff’s Office; and, after posting bond, she was transported to the Crockett County Jail to be served on the latest charge of “doctor shopping.”
“Prescription drug abuse is a major focus in our efforts to win the war against TennCare fraud,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “With the help of providers, we’re sending a message that abusing TennCare will have serious repercussions.”
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years per charge in prison. District Attorney General Garry Brown will be prosecuting the Crockett County case.
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."