|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, May 9, 2012
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE –A Stewart County man is charged in Montgomery County with TennCare fraud involving “doctor shopping,” or going to multiple doctors in a short timeframe to obtain prescription drugs.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG), with assistance from the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, today announced the arrest of William B. Singleteary, 39, of Big Rock. He is charged with three counts of fraudulently using TennCare to obtain a controlled substance by “doctor shopping,” in this case, for the strong painkillers Oxycodone and Morphine, with the physician office visits being paid for by TennCare.
"This type of criminal activity is serious business but the Office of Inspector General is going after these cases in all 95 counties in Tennessee," Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “Health care providers and their employees are great at spotting these cases and they are as committed as we are to stop TennCare fraud.”
The Stewart County Sheriff’s Department served Singleteary with the OIG charges when he appeared in a Stewart County General Sessions Court on unrelated charges. He was held in the Stewart County Jail, until the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office could take him into custody and transport him to the Montgomery County Jail to be booked.
The TennCare fraud charges against Singleteary could result in a two year sentence per charge, if convicted. District Attorney General John W. Carney 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, over 1,600 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."