|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 1, 2011
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE – A Madison County woman is charged in Carroll County with TennCare fraud involving “doctor shopping,” or using TennCare to go to multiple doctors in a short time period to obtain controlled substances.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG), with assistance from the Jackson-Madison Metro Narcotics Unit and the U.S. Marshal Service, today announced the arrest of Tammy Marie Dunagan, 43, of Jackson. Dunagan is charged with two counts of fraudulently using TennCare to obtain controlled substances by “doctor shopping,” seeing multiple doctors within a 30-day period, receiving prescriptions for the strong painkillers Oxycodone and Hydrocodone, with the physician office visits being paid for by TennCare.
“We are working diligently to stop the abuse of the TennCare program especially in the area of prescription drugs,” Inspector General Deborah Faulkner said. “We are pursuing prescription drug cases across the state and plan to prosecute anyone and everyone we find to be abusing the TennCare program.”
TennCare fraud involving doctor shopping is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years per charge in prison. District Attorney General Hansel J. McCadams 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 1,400 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."