|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2012
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE – A Roane County woman is charged for the second time with TennCare “doctor shopping,” or going to multiple doctors to obtain the same or similar controlled substances, and using the TennCare program as payment.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG), with assistance from the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office, today announced the arrest of 29-year old Kimberly Sue Christian, of Harriman, Tennessee. She is charged in a Morgan County indictment with three counts of fraudulently using TennCare to obtain a controlled substance by doctor shopping for prescriptions for the painkiller Oxycodone. Christian was arrested on the same charge in June, after an indictment in Knox County charged her with five counts of doctor shopping for controlled substances, using TennCare to pay for the physician office visit.
“The Office of Inspector General will continue to go after individuals who are committing fraud against the TennCare program,” Inspector General Deborah Faulkner said. “Doctor shopping is against the law and misusing TennCare benefits in this way won’t be tolerated.”
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison per charge. District Attorney General Russell Johnson is prosecuting the Morgan 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 the TennCare program, according to latest figures. To date, over 1,700 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."