FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE, TN - A Sumner County man is charged in an indictment 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 assistance from the Sumner County Sheriff’s Office, today announced the arrest of James Jeffrey Bond, 29, of Gallatin. He’s been charged with three counts of fraudulently using TennCare to obtain controlled substances by doctor shopping as well as two counts of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud. The drugs involved were the strong painkillers Oxycodone and Hydrocodone. TennCare paid for the physician office visits.
"We are aggressively pursuing people who commit TennCare fraud, especially when it comes to prescription drug abuse,” Inspector General Deborah Faulkner said. “We all want these drugs off the streets, but we also want to stop the problem of TennCare paying for drugs obtained fraudulently.”
TennCare fraud involving doctor shopping is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years per charge in prison. Obtaining a controlled substance by fraud is a Class D felony that carries a sentence of up to four years in prison per charge. District Attorney General Lawrence R. Whitley 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 1,900 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."