Bledsoe Co. Woman Charged with TennCare Drug Fraud

Wednesday, February 22, 2017 | 03:06pm

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A Bledsoe County woman is charged in nearby Rhea County with doctor shopping for prescription drugs, using TennCare as payment for the pills. Doctor shopping is the crime of visiting multiple doctors in a short period of time to obtain prescription drugs, using TennCare as payment.

The Office of Inspector General (OIG), with the assistance of the Rhea County Sheriff’s Office, today announced the arrest of Gracie Archbell, also known as Gracie Frazier, 35, of Pikeville. She is charged with three counts of doctor shopping for the painkiller Hydrocodone, using TennCare as payment.

“State leaders have given us the appropriate laws and authority to pursue people who are doctor shopping for drugs, whether it’s for personal abuse or with the intent of distribution,” Inspector General Manny Tyndall said. “We’re intent on winning this war against TennCare drug fraud.”

District Attorney General J. Michael Taylor is prosecuting. TennCare fraud is now a Class D felony punishable by up to four years in prison.

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, 2,801 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 visit the website and follow the prompts that read “Report TennCare Fraud.”