FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE, TN - A Sullivan County woman is charged with TennCare fraud involving doctor shopping, or using TennCare to go to multiple doctors to obtain controlled substances. She is also charged with sale and delivery of the drugs.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG), with assistance from Kingsport Police, today announced the arrest of Marty A. Mullins, 34, of Kingsport. She is charged with fraudulently using TennCare to obtain controlled substances by doctor shopping, using TennCare to pay for the physician visits and/or the prescriptions. Mullins is additionally charged with selling the drugs, Buprenorphine, a narcotic painkiller listed as a Schedule II controlled substance.
“Going from doctor to doctor to get prescription drugs, using TennCare to pay for them, is illegal, and carries some severe penalties,” Inspector General Deborah Faulkner said. “Selling prescription drugs to others for financial gain is intolerable in Tennessee, especially when TennCare is involved.”
TennCare fraud involving doctor shopping is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years per charge in prison. Both sale and delivery of a Schedule II controlled substance is a Class D felony that carries a sentence of up to four years in prison. District Attorney General Barry P. Staubus 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."