FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Two Tennessee women are charged with doctor shopping for controlled substances, using TennCare as payment.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of Jessica L. Gore, 35, of Fairview, an arrest assisted by Williamson County Sheriff’s officers, and Tracie Hester, 43, of Germantown in Shelby County. The Shelby County Sheriff’s office assisted with Hester’s arrest.
Jessica Gore is charged with two counts of doctor shopping, by visiting multiple providers to obtain the drug Phentermine, an amphetamine, using TennCare as payment. In Shelby County, Tracie Hester is charged with three counts of doctor shopping.
"Technology has made it easier to track people who are doctor shopping for drugs for personal use or resale, especially when TennCare is involved," Acting Inspector General Lawrence S. Saylor, Jr., said. "This is a crime we don´t tolerate in Tennessee and we´re pursuing these cases to the fullest extent."
TennCare fraud involving doctor shopping is a Class E felony, carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison per charge. District Attorney General Kim R. Helper is prosecuting the Williamson County case and District Attorney General Amy T. Weirich is prosecuting the Shelby 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 TennCare, according to latest figures. To date, 2,167 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."