FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE, TN – A Davidson County woman is charged with TennCare fraud involving “doctor shopping,” or using TennCare to go to multiple doctors in a short time period to obtain prescriptions for a controlled substance.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG), with help from Metro Nashville Police, today announced the arrest of Tyniki T. Graham, 39, of Hermitage. She is charged with six counts of fraudulently using TennCare to obtain a controlled substance by “doctor shopping,” obtaining prescriptions for the painkillers Hydrocodone and Tramadol, with the prescriptions or the clinical visits being paid for by TennCare.
"The ‘doctor shopping’ law is a valuable tool in cracking down on people who are abusing the program,” Acting Inspector General Robert White said. “Physicians across the state have applauded this law and our efforts to stop people from doing this and are helping us develop these cases.”
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison per charge. District Attorney General Victor S. Johnson, III, will be prosecuting 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, 2,125 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."