|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 2011
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE – A McMinn County man is charged for a third time with TennCare “doctor shopping,” or going to multiple doctors in a short period to obtain the same or similar controlled substances and using TennCare as payment.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of 43-year old Charles E. Self. He is charged in a Bradley County indictment with three counts of fraudulently obtaining controlled substances using TennCare. Charges say he went to multiple physicians within a 30-day period, receiving the same or similar controlled substances. Self is currently housed in the Bradley County Jail for unrelated charges, where he was served with the indictment.
“We are relentlessly pursuing cases involving ‘doctor shopping’ in TennCare, as this is a concern of communities across the state,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said.
Self was arrested on January 19 of this year after a Bradley County indictment charged him with one count of “doctor shopping.” Then, just over a week later, on January 27, he was arrested for a second time and charged in Knox County with two counts of “doctor shopping,” using TennCare to pay for the same or similar controlled substances.
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years per charge in prison. District Attorney General R. Steven Bibb will be prosecuting the Bradley 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."