FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE, TN – A Dyer County man is charged a second time with TennCare fraud involving doctor shopping, or using TennCare to go to multiple doctors to obtain controlled substances.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG), with the assistance of the Dyer and Carroll County Sheriff’s Offices and Dyersburg Police, today announced the arrest of Donald K. Buckner, Sr., 54, of Dyersburg. He is charged in Carroll County with two counts of doctor shopping for multiple prescriptions for the painkiller Morphine, using TennCare as payment.
Buckner was previously arrested in April of this year, after an indictment in Dyer County charged him with three counts of doctor shopping involving the painkillers Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Morphine and a similar drug, Meperidine. Buckner used TennCare benefits to pay for the clinical visits.
“We are grateful for the assistance we receive from local police as well as pharmacies and medical providers who all want to bring an end to the abuse of TennCare, especially in the area of prescription drugs,” Inspector General Deborah Faulkner said. “We will keep pursuing people who commit these crimes as many times as it takes until they understand there is no toleration for the abuse of the TennCare program.”
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison per charge. District Attorney General Hansel J. McCadams is prosecuting the Carroll County 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, 2,117 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."