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Meigs County Woman Charged Sixth Time with TennCare Fraud

Wednesday, September 26, 2018 | 03:34pm
Elizabeth Lamb

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A Meigs County woman is now facing her sixth round of TennCare fraud charges.

The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of Elizabeth A. Lamb, 39, of Decatur. An indictment in Rhea County accuses her of fraudulently obtaining a controlled substance by doctor shopping.

The indictment alleges Lamb went to three different hospitals and received controlled substances from all three, using TennCare benefits to obtain prescriptions for Hydrocodone.

Lamb’s first four arrests were all between March and July of 2015, in Meigs, Bradley, Hamilton and McMinn Counties.  In those cases, which were investigated at the same time, she was charged with doctor shopping for Hydrocodone, Oxycodone and Tylenol #3, using TennCare as payment. Lamb was then indicted in McMinn County in November 2017 when she was charged for the fifth time with fraudulently obtaining a controlled substance by doctor shopping in connection with obtaining Hydrocodone.

Lamb pleaded guilty in her first five arrests; she is currently serving four years in state prison, and was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $1,800.

“Obtaining prescription drugs illegally utilizing TennCare benefits will not be tolerated,” Inspector General Kim Harmon said.  “We appreciate the collaborative efforts of the local law enforcement agencies and healthcare providers across the state working together to fight the opioid epidemic in Tennessee.”

District Attorney General J. Michael Taylor is prosecuting the Rhea County 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, 3,038 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.”