Campbell County Man Must Repay State for TennCare Services

Tuesday, January 24, 2017 | 2:21pm

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A Campbell County man accused of obtaining TennCare benefits he was not eligible for must repay the state for medical and pharmacy services provided through the state’s healthcare insurance program.

The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced that Leonard Rodney Hembree, 58, of LaFollette, must repay the state $11,549.73 after pleading guilty to TennCare fraud and theft of services over $10,000. He is also sentenced to four years Judicial Diversion.

Hembree was arrested in September of last year when he was charged with inaccurately reporting his household income and resources in order to be eligible for TennCare benefits.  District Attorney General Jared Effler prosecuted this case.

“This is a common ploy used by people who want to make themselves look poor – on paper – while the taxpayers are picking up the tab for their medical services,” Inspector General Manny Tyndall said. “We have uncovered various schemes that people are using to defraud the TennCare program, but bringing these folks to justice sends a message that we’re going to prosecute these cases.”

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, 2,793 people have been charged with TennCare fraud.

Anyone can report suspected TennCare fraud by calling 1-800-433-3982 toll-free from anywhere in Tennessee, or visit the website and follow prompts that read “Report TennCare Fraud.”