Knox County Woman Must Repay TennCare

Tuesday, April 25, 2017 | 02:10pm

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A Knox County woman charged with TennCare fraud must repay the state for benefits received through the state’s healthcare insurance program.

The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced that 31-year old Bobbie Latasha Smith of Knoxville must repay TennCare a total of $29,902.60. She also received two years judicial diversion.

Smith pleaded guilty to charges that she purposefully misrepresented her financial situation in order to obtain TennCare benefits. She was indicted in September of last year for TennCare fraud and theft of services in connection with falsely reporting her income and not reporting her marriage to the state, both which made her ineligible for the TennCare program.

“It’s troubling that anyone with resources beyond attempts to be enrolled in a program meant for people who truly need healthcare benefits through TennCare,” Inspector General Manny Tyndall said. “We are pursuing and prosecuting these cases all across the state.”

District Attorney General Charme P. Allen prosecuted this case.  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, 2,824 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.”