|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 10, 2008
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
BRADLEY COUNTY WOMAN CHARGED WITH TENNCARE "DOCTOR SHOPPING"
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A Bradley County woman has been indicted for TennCare fraud involving “doctor shopping,” or using TennCare benefits to go to multiple doctors in a short time period to obtain controlled substances.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) with the assistance of the Bradley County Sheriff’s Department today announced the arrest of 35-year old Tiffany Tapley of Cleveland.
Tapley is charged with one count of fraudulently using TennCare to obtain controlled substances by “doctor shopping.” The charges relate to receiving prescriptions for controlled substances and failing to disclose to her doctor that she had seen other physicians within a 30-day period to obtain additional prescriptions for the same or similar controlled substances. In all instances, the physician’s office visit or the controlled substance was paid for in part by TennCare.
“We are aggressively working to stop the abuse and misuse of the TennCare program,” Inspector General Deborah Faulkner said. “We are pursuing prescription drug and doctor shopping cases across the state and plan to prosecute anyone and everyone we find committing TennCare fraud.”
TennCare fraud involving doctor shopping is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison. District Attorney Steven Bebb will be prosecuting this case.
The OIG, a law enforcement agency separate from TennCare, began full operation in February 2005 and has worked cases leading to the arrest of over 830 individuals for TennCare fraud, with nearly $1 million paid in restitution to TennCare, and total estimated cost avoidance in TennCare of over $122 million, according to latest figures.
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.tncarefraud.tennessee.gov and follow the prompts that read "Report TennCare Fraud."