|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 15, 2010
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE TN - A Crockett County woman is charged in Gibson County for TennCare fraud involving “doctor shopping,” or using TennCare benefits to go to multiple doctors in a short time period to obtain prescriptions for a controlled substance.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) with assistance from sheriff’s officers in both Crockett and Gibson counties today announced the arrest of Stephanie Carrison Shilliday, 35, of Bells. She is charged with one count of fraudulently using TennCare to obtain a controlled substance by “doctor shopping.” The indictment against her says she failed to disclose to her doctor that she had seen another physician within a 30-day period and received a prescription for the strong painkiller Hydrocodone, with the physician office visits being paid for by TennCare.
"The ‘doctor shopping’ law is an essential tool in stopping the abuse of TennCare for the purpose of obtaining narcotics,” Inspector General Deborah Faulkner said. “Physicians, pharmacists, law enforcement and citizens across the state have applauded this law and our efforts to stop people from doing this.”
Shilliday was transported from the Crockett County jail, where she was held on unrelated charges, to the Gibson County jail where she was served with the TennCare fraud charge, arraigned, and returned to the Crockett County Jail.
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison. District Attorney General Garry Brown 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 $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 1,300 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."