FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE, TN – A Putnam County woman has been ordered to repay TennCare for healthcare benefits received when she was fraudulently enrolled in the state’s Medicaid insurance program.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the court judgment against 33-year old Tara Michelle Manier of Cookeville. She was charged in March 2013 with providing false information in order to qualify for TennCare benefits. After she pleaded guilty, a Putnam County court ordered her to pay restitution in the amount of $15,041. Manier was accused of falsely reporting to the state that she had residential custody and control of her minor children, which qualified her for TennCare.
“Anyone who intentionally gives false information in order to get healthcare benefits paid by taxpayers will be on our radar,” Inspector General Deborah Faulkner said. “Making restitution, jail time, and even losing the right to apply for TennCare are the possible outcomes of this crime.”
Manier was also placed on supervised probation for two years. District Attorney General Randy York prosecuted this case.
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, 2,100 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."