Residents of Cocke, Hawkins Counties Charged with TennCare Drug Fraud
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Residents of Cocke and Hawkins Counties are charged in separate cases involving TennCare fraud.
In Greene County, Lawrence D. Lamons, III, is charged for the second time with TennCare fraud by doctor shopping, or using public health insurance benefits to go from doctor to doctor to get prescription drugs. Lamons is accused of using TennCare to obtain the painkillers Hydrocodone and Tramadol. He was first arrested in April of this year on the same charges in Jefferson County involving Hydrocodone. District Attorney General Dan E. Armstrong will be prosecuting this case.
Amanda Foster is charged in nearby Hamblen County with two counts of TennCare fraud by doctor shopping, which involves going to multiple providers in a short time period to obtain prescription drugs and using TennCare as payment. The charges involve the painkillers Hydrocodone and Tramadol. District Attorney General Dan E. Armstrong is prosecuting this case.
“Misuse of prescription drugs is public enemy number one, and Tennessee is committed to eradicating it from TennCare,” Inspector General Manny Tyndall said. “Healthcare providers and local law enforcement officers across the state are working with us to investigate and prosecute these types of crimes.”
TennCare fraud is now a Class D felony punishable by up to four years in prison.
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, 2,908 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.”