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Jefferson County Man Charged with TennCare Fraud

Thursday, August 23, 2018 | 09:55am
Howard Cagle

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A Jefferson County man is charged in both Greene and Hamblen Counties with TennCare fraud involving doctor shopping, or using TennCare to go to multiple doctors in a short time period to obtain prescriptions for controlled substances.

The Office of Inspector General (OIG), with the assistance of the Greene and Hamblen County Sheriff’s Offices, today announced the arrest of Howard L. Cagle, 38, of Dandridge.

He was booked first in Hamblen County for three counts of TennCare fraud involving doctor shopping. Upon posting bond, Cagle was then transported to the Greene County Sheriff’s Office where he was charged with one count of TennCare fraud involving doctor shopping. A subsequent investigation led to the identification of at least five separate instances in which Cagle used TennCare to obtain prescriptions for Hydrocodone from various providers – all in a short time period.

“The opioid crisis is a problem in our communities, our cities, our state, and our nation,” Inspector General Kim Harmon said.  “We work diligently with local law enforcement to deter prescriptions from hitting our streets and from TennCare resources being wasted.”

District Attorney General Dan E. Armstrong will be prosecuting both cases. 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, 3,026 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.”