FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE, TN – A Warren County woman is charged with TennCare fraud in Rutherford County in a case involving prescription drugs.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of Amber L. Briggs, 28, of McMinnville. She is charged with two counts of fraudulently using TennCare to obtain controlled substances by doctor shopping. An indictment accuses her of going to multiple physicians within a short period of time, receiving prescriptions for the same or similar controlled substances, with the clinical visits or the prescriptions being paid for with TennCare benefits. Briggs turned herself in to the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office.
“The unauthorized use and abuse of prescription drugs is a serious crime, and we’ve taken actions to combat the issue in the TennCare program,” Inspector General Deborah Faulkner said. “The Legislature has given us the tools and authority to address prescription drug abuse in TennCare, to protect taxpayer dollars and the preserve TennCare.”
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison per charge. District Attorney General William C. Whitesell, Jr. 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, 2,079 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."