FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE, TN –– A Wayne County woman is charged with TennCare fraud related to selling prescription drugs paid for by the Medicaid healthcare insurance program.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of Tracy Griggs, 48, of Waynesboro, after a joint investigation with the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office.
Griggs is charged with two counts of TennCare fraud and two counts of sale of a schedule II controlled substance. The charges accuse her of using TennCare benefits to pay for a prescription for the painkiller Hydrocodone, part of which she sold on two separate occasions.
“We are intent on ending prescription drug abuse in the state’s TennCare program, so we can work to carry out the program’s mission of providing insurance to people who need healthcare services,”” Inspector General Deborah Faulkner said. “Communities across the state have engaged law enforcement, local officials and healthcare providers to diminish prescription drug abuse.”
District Attorney General Mike Bottoms is prosecuting. TennCare fraud is a Class E felony, carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison per charge. The sale of a schedule II controlled substance is a Class C felony with a possible sentence of three to six years in prison per charge.
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, 2,081 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."