Rhea Co. Man Charged 2nd Time with TennCare Fraud

Tuesday, May 30, 2017 | 3:36pm

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A Rhea County man is charged for the second time in Hamilton County with doctor shopping for prescription drugs, using TennCare as payment.

The Office of Inspector General (OIG), with the assistance of the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office, today announced the arrest of Troy Jones, 37, of Graysville. He is charged in a Hamilton County indictment with three counts of fraudulently obtaining a controlled substance by doctor shopping, which involves going to several providers in a short time period to obtain prescription drugs, using TennCare as payment. Jones is accused of doctor shopping for painkillers Hydrocodone and Oxycodone. He turned himself in at the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office.

In March of this year, Jones pleaded guilty to doctor shopping and obtaining a controlled substance by fraud, after being arrested on the charges in Rhea County in December of 2016. The charges were related to doctor shopping for the same painkillers. His sentencing included performing 100 hours of public service work and repaying TennCare $727.83. He also received two years judicial diversion and was sentenced to two years supervised probation. District Attorney General J. Michael Taylor prosecuted this case.

“Tennessee is fortunate to have the laws and the authority to pursue people who are doctor shopping for drugs, whether it’s for personal abuse or with the intent of distribution,” Inspector General Manny Tyndall said. “We are working these cases across Tennessee and intend to fully prosecute people committing TennCare fraud.”

District Attorney General Neal Pinkston is prosecuting. 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, 2,846 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.”