Macon Co. Man Charged with TennCare Fraud
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A Macon County man is charged with TennCare fraud for “hiding” a family member’s assets to avoid paying for the member’s nursing home care and allowing taxpayer funds to pay for the care.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG), with the assistance of the Macon County Sheriff’s Office, today announced the arrest of Jeffery L. Hauskin, 55, of Westmoreland.
Hauskin was named in a two-count indictment charging that he concealed assets that would have prevented his mother from being eligible for TennCare benefits. Authorities say Hauskin was acting with power of attorney for his mother when he failed to disclose to TennCare money gained from the sale of her home when he applied for TennCare nursing home benefits on his mother’s behalf. The undisclosed gain from the sale is reported to be $184,723.86. If Hauskin had truthfully disclosed the sale and related capital gains, his other would not have been eligible for TennCare. Hauskin is charged with TennCare fraud and theft of services over $60,000.
“TennCare provides specialized care for people who are truly eligible and need assistance; people who do not have any assets that could be used to pay for their care,” Inspector General Kim Harmon said. “Many people want to preserve their assets for children or other beneficiaries, but federal law prohibits what is known as ‘pauperizing’ a person so that state and federal taxes pay for expensive long-term care.”
District Attorney General Tom P. Thompson, Jr. is prosecuting. TennCare fraud is a Class D felony punishable by up to four years in prison per charge and theft of services over $60,000 is a Class B felony punishable by up to twelve 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, 3,043 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 log on to www.tn.gov/tnoig/ and follow the prompts that read “Report TennCare Fraud.”