Sweetwater, Tenn., Woman Charged with TennCare Fraud
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A woman from Sweetwater, Tenn., is charged with TennCare fraud in connection with doctor shopping for drugs. Doctor shopping involves visiting multiple physicians to obtain multiple prescriptions for prescription drugs.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) in a joint effort with the Loudon County Sheriff’s Office today announced the arrest of 43-year old Jennifer Rodriguez-Howard, also known as Jennifer L. Drew of Sweetwater, Tenn. She is charged with two counts of TennCare fraud for allegedly visiting multiple physicians within a 30-day period in an effort to obtain controlled substances.
“The state of Tennessee, with the help of our law enforcement communities, has emphasized a concerted effort to prevent doctor shopping and to fight the opioid epidemic,” Inspector General Kim Harmon said. “Together we work to keep prescription drugs from being diverted to the streets of our hometowns.”
If convicted, Rodriguez-Howard could face up to a maximum of 24 years in prison for the two counts of TennCare fraud, which are both class D felonies. The case is being prosecuted by District Attorney General Russell Johnson of Loudon County.
The OIG, which is separate from TennCare, began full operation in February 2005 and has investigated over 5,760 criminal cases leading to more than $10.8 million ordered in restitution to TennCare. This has helped lead to a total estimated cost avoidance of more than $163.6 million for TennCare, according to the latest figures. To date, 3,137 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 or by logging on to www.tn.gov/oig/ and following the prompts that read “Report TennCare Fraud.”