Henry County Woman Charged with TennCare Fraud

Monday, January 04, 2016 | 02:56pm

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A Henry County woman is charged in Sumner County with fraudulently obtaining TennCare benefits by falsely claiming that she had a dependent in her home, in order to qualify for the program’s healthcare insurance benefits.

The Office of Inspector General (OIG), with the assistance of the Sumner County Sheriff’s Office, today announced the arrest of Amber R. Kirtley, 36, of Paris. She is charged with TennCare fraud and theft of services. Authorities say Kirtley made false and fictitious statements, claiming her minor child as a member of her household in order to be eligible for TennCare benefits.

“We have law enforcement, healthcare and local contacts across the state of Tennessee who help us in the war against TennCare fraud,” Inspector General Manny Tyndall said. “It’s not ‘if,’ but ‘when’ a person gets caught, as we are constantly identifying, investigating and building cases against people stealing from TennCare.”

TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison. 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 more than $3 million being repaid to TennCare, with a total estimated cost avoidance of more than $163.6 million for TennCare, according to latest figures. To date, 2,503 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 go to https://www.tn.gov/tnoig.