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Monroe Co. Woman Charged with TennCare Drug Fraud

Monday, May 13, 2019 | 09:54am
051019 Brenda McNabb

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A Monroe County woman is charged with TennCare fraud for selling the painkiller hydrocodone she allegedly obtained using TennCare healthcare insurance benefits.

The Office of Inspector General (OIG), with the assistance of the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, today announced the arrest of Brenda Lou McNabb, 51, of Sweetwater. She is charged with one count of TennCare fraud and two counts of sale and delivery of a Schedule II controlled substance.

Authorities say McNabb obtained a prescription for Hydrocodone and on two separate occasions, she sold a portion of the drugs to a confidential informant. She’s accused of doing so after using TennCare benefits to pay for both the clinical visit and the prescription.

“The trafficking of opioids is a problem across the state, and we will not tolerate it,” Inspector General Kim Harmon said. “Enrollees who participate in selling drugs paid for by TennCare and those that buy them should understand this is a serious crime we intend to pursue.”

District Attorney General Stephen D. Crump is prosecuting. TennCare fraud is a Class D felony punishable by up to four years in prison per charge. Sell or delivery of a Schedule II controlled substance is a Class C felony punishable by up to six 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, 3,085 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.”