Putnam Co. Woman Charged with TennCare Drug Fraud

Friday, July 14, 2017 | 10:56am

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A middle Tennessee woman is charged with TennCare fraud involving the sale of prescription drugs which were obtained through TennCare benefits.

The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of Kimberly Ann Smith, 31, of Cookeville, after a joint investigation with the Baxter Police Department.

Smith is charged with TennCare fraud for allegedly obtaining a prescription for the painkiller Oxycodone during a clinical visit paid for by TennCare, and later selling a portion of the drugs.

“We are working with municipal and county police officers across the state, as they often discover a connection to TennCare during local drug investigations,” Inspector General Manny Tyndall said.  “Local police are clearly committed to eliminating prescription drug abuse, and we’re doing our part to stop abusers who are supporting this lifestyle with TennCare.”

District Attorney General Bryant C. Dunaway is prosecuting. TennCare fraud is now a Class D felony punishable by up to four years in prison per charge.

The OIG, which is separate from TennCare, began full operation in February 2005 and has investigated cases leading to more than $3 million being repaid to TennCare, with a total estimated cost avoidance of more than $163.6 million for TennCare, according to latest figures. To date, 2,871 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 visit the website and follow the prompts that read “Report TennCare Fraud.”

TennCare Fraud