Rhea Co. Woman Charged 2nd Time with TennCare Drug Fraud

Wednesday, August 09, 2017 | 11:32am

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A Rhea County woman is charged in nearby McMinn County with TennCare fraud involving doctor shopping for drugs, and it’s her second indictment for the crime. Doctor shopping occurs when a person visits multiple doctors in a 30-day period in an effort to obtain prescription drugs.  

The Office of Inspector General (OIG), with the assistance of the McMinn County Sheriff’s Office, today announced the arrest of Juanita L. Crombie, 58, of Spring City. She is charged in McMinn County with TennCare fraud involving the highly abused painkiller Oxycodone. Crombie was being held in the Rhea County jail on unrelated charges and was transported to the McMinn County jail where she was served with the latest charges.

Crombie was arrested last month in Rhea County, where she was charged with three counts of fraudulently using TennCare to obtain the painkillers Demerol, Dilaudid and Morphine by doctor shopping.

“Tennessee has been identified as having one of the nation’s most significant prescription opioid problems; we can attest to that, as we have open cases in almost every county in Tennessee,” Inspector General Manny Tyndall said. “We’re committed to stopping this type of activity so TennCare will be there for people who have legitimate needs for healthcare benefits.”

District Attorney General Stephen Crump is prosecuting. TennCare fraud is a Class D felony punishable by up to four years in prison per charge.

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, 2,884 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.”