FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE, TN – A Knox County woman is charged in nearby Anderson County with TennCare fraud involving “doctor shopping,” or using TennCare to go to multiple doctors to obtain prescriptions for a controlled substance.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG), assistance from state Department of Correction officers and the Anderson County Sheriff’s Department, today announced the arrest of Rachael Christine Presnell, 25, of Knoxville. She is charged with fraudulently using TennCare to obtain a controlled substance by “doctor shopping” for controlled substances, and using TennCare as payment. In addition, Presnell is charged with obtaining a controlled substance by fraud.
Presnell was served with the charges after she was transferred to Anderson County from the Bledsoe County Correctional Facility, where she is lodged on unrelated charges.
“We are cracking down on all cases involving TennCare fraud, especially where prescription painkillers are concerned,” Acting Inspector General Robert White said. “Physicians and law enforcement across the state have applauded our efforts to stop people from doing this and are helping us to develop these cases.”
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison. Obtaining a controlled substance by fraud is a Class D felony punishable by up to four years in prison. District Attorney General David Clark 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, 2,134 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."