FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE, TN – A Tipton County woman is charged with TennCare fraud involving doctor shopping, or using the state’s Medicaid program to go to multiple doctors to obtain controlled substances.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of Misty Benard Jones, 34, of Covington. She is charged with two counts of fraudulently using TennCare to obtain controlled substances by doctor shopping, using TennCare as payment. Jones used TennCare benefits to pay for the controlled substance and the clinical visit. The Tipton County Sheriff’s Office assisted in Jones’ arrest.
“The unauthorized use and abuse of prescription drugs is a serious public safety matter and health and a punishable crime,” Inspector General Deborah Faulkner said.
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years per charge in prison. District Attorney General D. Michael Dunavant is prosecuting.
The OIG, which is separate from TennCare, began full operation in February 2005 and has investigated cases leading to over $3.5 million paid in restitution and recoupment to TennCare, with a total estimated cost avoidance of over $173 million for the TennCare program, according to latest figures. To date, over 2,060 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 log on to www.tn.gov/tnoig/ and follow the prompts that read "Report TennCare Fraud."