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Lewis County Woman Charged with TennCare Drug Fraud

Tuesday, September 08, 2020 | 04:59pm

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A Lewis County woman is charged with TennCare fraud in connection with doctor shopping, which involves visiting multiple doctors in a short period of time to obtain prescription drugs.

The Office of Inspector General (OIG) in a joint effort with the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office today announced the arrest of 35-year old Heather Wallace of Hohenwald. She is charged with two counts of TennCare fraud, a class D felony. Investigators allege that on two separate occasions, Wallace fraudulently obtained medical care and prescriptions for pain medication.  

“The state of Tennessee, with the help of our law enforcement communities, has emphasized a concentrated 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, Wallace could face a maximum of 24 years in prison. The case is being prosecuted by District Attorney General Kim R. Helperv of Lewis 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 being repaid to TennCare, with a total estimated cost avoidance of more than $163.6 million for TennCare, according to latest figures. To date, 3,084 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.”