LEWIS CO. WOMAN CHARGED WTH ATTEMPTED TENNCARE DRUG FRAUD
NASHVILLE - A Lewis County woman has been charged with trying to use her TennCare benefits to pay for a fraudulent prescription for a controlled substance.
The Office of Inspector General today announced that Tina K. Bates, 38, of Hohenwald was arraigned for trying to fraudulently obtain the drug Lortab, a brand version of powerful pain medication hydrocodone.
“We are working diligently to stop abuse of the TennCare prescription drug benefit, which the state maintains for people who truly need access to prescription drugs,” Inspector General Deborah Faulkner said. “We are pursuing dozens of prescription cases across the state and plan to prosecute anyone who’s abusing this system.”
Governor Phil Bredesen created the OIG, one of the first units of its kind in the nation, in 2004. Since it became operational in February 2005, 231 people have been charged with TennCare fraud, leading to 57 convictions for TennCare fraud and 14 cases resolved.
Lewis County District Attorney General Jeff Long is prosecuting the case. The charges against Bates are Class D and E felonies, punishable by up to twelve years in prison. Bates’ bond was set at $2,000.
Anyone can report suspected TennCare fraud by calling 1-800-433-3982 toll-free from anywhere in Tennessee, or log on to www.tennessee.gov/tenncare and follow the prompts that read “Report Fraud Now.”