|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2009
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER615.532.8560 (OFFICE)615.202.0701 (CELL)
TENNCARE FRAUD FUGITIVE ARRESTED IN HAMILTON COUNTY
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A Hamilton County woman charged in a TennCare fraud case is finally in custody, after eluding authorities for five months.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) and the Hamilton County Fugitive Unit today announced the arrest of 29–year old Amanda Kay Howington, also known as Amanda Kay Thompson. She is charged with “doctor shopping,” or using TennCare to go to multiple doctors in a short time period to obtain prescriptions for a controlled substance.
The woman was indicted in June by a Hamilton County Grand Jury for one count of TennCare fraud involving “doctor shopping,” for failing 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.
If convicted, the charge could result in a two year sentence. District Attorney General William H. Cox, III is prosecuting.
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 1,050 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."