|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 2011
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE – A Lawrence County woman is charged with TennCare fraud involving “doctor shopping,” or using TennCare to go to multiple doctors in a short time period to obtain prescriptions for a controlled substance.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG), with the assistance of the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department, today announced the arrest of Linda L. Thomson, 44, of Lawrenceburg, who’s charged with one count of “doctor shopping.” The indictment says she saw multiple physicians in a 30-day period to obtain prescriptions for the strong and addictive pain medication Hydrocodone.
"The ‘doctor shopping’ law gave us a valuable tool in cracking down on people who are attempting to abuse the TennCare program,” Inspector General Deborah Faulkner said. “Doctors, pharmacists and others have been anxious to help us identify those who are committing this crime.”
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison. District Attorney General Mike Bottoms will be prosecuting this 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."