FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE, TN – A Tipton County woman is charged with TennCare fraud in an indictment accusing her of “doctor shopping,” or using TennCare to go to multiple doctors obtain controlled substances.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of Faith Marie De’Forge, 50, of Drummonds. District Attorney General Michael Dunavant assisted in the case, along with Tipton Sheriff’s Deputies Billy Daugherty and Laura Adkins.
De’Forge is charged with four counts of fraudulently using TennCare to obtain controlled substances by “doctor shopping,” for the painkiller Hydrocodone, using TennCare public healthcare insurance benefits to pay for either the clinical visits or the prescriptions.
“Law enforcement, healthcare providers and others are working hard against the abuse of prescription drugs in Tennessee,” Inspector General Deborah Faulkner said. “We’re committed to ensuring the TennCare program is used appropriately by the people eligible to receive benefits – TennCare fraud is against the law.”
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years per charge in prison. District Attorney General Michael Dunavant 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, over 1,700 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."