CLAIBORNE, MARION CO. RESIDENTS CHARGED WITH TENNCARE FRAUD
NASHVILLE, TN – Residents of Claiborne and Marion Counties are charged in separate cases today involving felony TennCare fraud. The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrests, both which involve people gaining access to TennCare although they were not eligible.
Governor Phil Bredesen created the OIG, one of the first units of its kind in the nation, in 2004. Since it became operational in February 2005, 283 people have been charged with TennCare fraud.
Angela Wooten, 37, of Jasper, is accused in an indictment of two counts of TennCare fraud and one count of theft of services for concealing that she could have purchased health care insurance at her workplace, but signed up for TennCare instead. She is also accused of intentionally obtaining over $10,000 in medical services by false pretense. If convicted, she faces one to six years each on the TennCare fraud charges and three to 15 years for the theft charge. District Attorney J. Michael Taylor for Marion County will prosecute the case.
In a separate case in Claiborne County, Clayton “Woody” Arwood, 46, of New Tazewell is accused in an indictment of one count of TennCare fraud for helping a TennCare enrollee prepare and submit fraudulent pharmacy invoices, presenting them to the Department of Human Services for payment. If convicted, Arwood faces up to six years in prison. District Attorney William Paul Phillips will prosecute.
“We are hoping to make it clear that giving false information to gain access to TennCare will lead to TennCare fraud charges,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “We are actively investigating TennCare members who are not eligible because they have not reported their income correctly or because they had health insurance available at work, even though TennCare reforms eliminated that possibility by tightening eligibility.”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.govand follow the prompts that read “Report Fraud Now.”