|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 12, 2008
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
DAVIDSON COUNTY WOMAN CHARGED FOR 2ND TIME WITH TENNCARE
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A Davidson County woman is charged for the second time with “doctor shopping” in TennCare, or using the program’s healthcare benefits to visit multiple doctors in a short period of time to obtain similar prescriptions for drugs.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of 33-year old Faye L. Binkley of Nashville, who is charged with three counts of fraudulently obtaining controlled substances by “doctor shopping.” Binkley failed to disclose to her health care providers that she had seen other healthcare providers within a 30-day period and received the same or similar prescriptions for the painkiller Hydrocodone. She used TennCare to pay for the physician office visits and the prescriptions at the pharmacy.
In May of this year, Binkley was arrested for the in Montgomery County and charged with two counts of fraudulently obtaining controlled substances by “doctor shopping.” Binkley had failed to disclose to her doctor that she had seen another physician with a 30-day period and received a prescription for Hydrocodone. Both physician office visits were paid for by TennCare.
“Prescription drug abuse causes people to go to extremes to get their drugs, but we’ve got laws on the books to stop this abuse of the TennCare program,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “We have zero tolerance for using TennCare to support prescription drug abuse, and we’re getting great cooperation from doctors and pharmacies across the state in helping us develop these cases.”
TennCare fraud involving doctor shopping is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years per charge in prison. District Attorney Victor S. Johnson, III 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 860 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."