FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE, TN – A Warren County woman is charged for a second time with doctor shopping for controlled substances, using TennCare benefits as payment.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of 28-year old Amber L. Briggs, of McMinnville. She is charged in a Unicoi County indictment with fraudulently obtaining a controlled substance by doctor shopping for prescription drugs, using TennCare to access healthcare benefits.
Briggs was arrested earlier this month after an indictment in Rutherford County charged her with two counts of doctor shopping for prescription drugs, using TennCare as payment.
“Prescription drug abuse is a target of communities large and small across Tennessee,” Inspector General Deborah Faulkner said. “With the help of medical providers and local law enforcement, the Office of Inspector General is sending a message that abusing TennCare will have serious repercussions.”
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony, carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison. District Attorney General Tony Clark 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, 2,089 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."