|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 18, 2011
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE – A Madison County man is charged with using the identity of another person, who is a TennCare enrollee, in order to obtain medical benefits through the public healthcare insurance program.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of William Joseph Murrell, 37, of Humboldt. He was indicted by a Madison County Grand Jury along with Carita Laitice Lee, both charged with two counts of TennCare fraud. Together they are accused of using the TennCare dental benefits of Lee’s daughter at Family and Cosmetic Dentistry located in Jackson, Tennessee. Except for special circumstances, dental benefits are not available for adults in TennCare. Lee was arrested in September.
“A TennCare card for one member of a family is not a ticket to benefits for everyone,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “Children whose families cannot provide healthcare insurance deserve a healthy start, but the full array of benefits is not extended to adults, especially those who are not eligible for the program.”
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."