Alabama Woman Must Repay TennCare

Tuesday, June 13, 2017 | 2:51pm

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A woman from Flat Rock, Alabama must make restitution to Tennessee after court proceedings on charges of TennCare fraud.

The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced that Shirley Calcote, 40, of Flat Rock, Alabama must repay Tennessee a total of $35,400.96 for healthcare insurance benefits she and her family received while they were on TennCare. A Marion County Criminal Court also sentenced Wilkins to three years of probation. District Attorney General J. Michael Taylor prosecuted this case.

Calcote was arrested in November 2016, when she was charged with falsifying TennCare application and recertification documents by saying she lived in Tennessee, even though she and her family lived in Alabama. She was convicted of TennCare fraud and theft of services over $10,000. At the time of her arrest she was living in Flat Rock, Alabama, she has since moved to Guild, Tennessee.

“The TennCare program is solely for the citizens of the state of Tennessee,” Inspector General Manny Tyndall said. “Anyone who comes across the state line to fraudulently obtain these benefits will be investigated and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, including repayment to TennCare.”

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, 2,853 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.”