FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE, TN – A Dyer County man is charged with TennCare fraud involving doctor shopping, or using TennCare to go to multiple doctors to obtain controlled substances.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) announced the arrest of Donald K. Buckner, Sr., 54, of Dyersburg. He is charged with three counts of fraudulently obtaining controlled substances through TennCare by doctor shopping for the painkillers Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Meperidine and Morphine. He used TennCare benefits to pay for the clinical visits.
“Prescription painkillers are strong, addictive drugs that can by physically harmful to an abuser, especially when obtained outside the care of a doctor,” Inspector General Deborah Faulkner said. “We want to protect the TennCare program, but we’re also committed to getting these drugs out of the hands of people who may abuse them.”
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years per charge in prison. District Attorney General Phillip Bivens 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, 2,096 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."