Hamblen Co. Woman Charged 2nd Time with TennCare Fraud
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A northeast Tennessee woman is charged for the second time with doctor shopping, a crime involving fraudulent efforts to obtain prescription drugs through TennCare benefits.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) with the assistance of the Hamblen County Sheriff’s Office today announced the arrest of Lisa R. Barnett, 37, of Morristown. She is charged in a Hamblen County indictment with three counts of fraudulently obtaining a controlled substance by doctor shopping for the painkiller Hydrocodone, using TennCare as payment.
Barnett was first arrested last month in Cocke County when she was charged with five counts of TennCare fraud for using benefits to doctor shop for the same drug, Hydrocodone. That case is still active in the court system.
“We have open cases in almost every county in Tennessee,” Inspector General Manny Tyndall said. “We’re committed to stopping this type of activity so TennCare will be there for people who have legitimate needs for healthcare benefits.”
District Attorney General Dan E. Armstrong 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, 2,870 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.”