|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 15, 2010
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE TN - A Sevier County woman is charged with TennCare fraud for selling prescription drugs paid for with TennCare health insurance benefits.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of Dawn M. Billado, 31, of Kodak, after a joint investigation with the Sevier County Police Department.
Billado is charged with two counts of TennCare fraud for allegedly filling a prescription for the painkillers Hydrocodone and Darvocet, then selling a portion of the pills. The physician office visits where she obtained the prescriptions were paid for with TennCare benefits.
“We are working with municipal and county police officers across the state, as they often discover a TennCare element during local drug investigations,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “Local police are clearly committed to eliminating prescription drug abuse, and we’re doing our part to stop abusers who are supporting this lifestyle with TennCare.”
The TennCare fraud charges against Billado could result in a two year sentence per charge, if convicted. District Attorney General James B. Dunn is prosecuting.
The OIG, which is separate from TennCare, began full operation in February 2005 and has investigated cases leading to over $2.5 million paid in restitution and recoupment to TennCare, with a total estimated cost avoidance of over $171 million for the TennCare program, according to latest figures. To date, over 1,300 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."