|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 8, 2011
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE – A Rhea County man is charged with TennCare fraud involving “doctor shopping,” or using TennCare public healthcare insurance benefits to go to multiple doctors in a short time period to obtain controlled substances.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG), in a joint investigation with the Rhea County Sheriff’s Office, today announced the arrest of Kenneth Cranmore, 29, of Graysville. He is charged with two counts of fraudulently using TennCare to obtain controlled substances by “doctor shopping.”
Cranmore is accused of seeing multiple physicians within a 30-day period to get prescriptions for the strong painkiller Hydrocodone, with the physician office visits being paid for by TennCare.
“Prescription drug abuse is a serious crime and a concern of communities across the state,” Inspector General Deborah Faulkner said. “We’re committed to ensuring that TennCare benefits are not used in the illegal distribution of narcotics and other drugs.”
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years per charge in prison. District Attorney General J. Michael Taylor is prosecuting.
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."