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Unicoi Co. Man Charged with TennCare Drug Fraud

Monday, April 05, 2021 | 08:27am
Barry Osbourne

NASHVILLE – A Unicoi County man is charged in nearby Washington County with six counts of TennCare fraud for allegedly doctor shopping for prescriptions for drugs.

The Office of Inspector General (OIG), in a joint effort with the Tennessee Highway Patrol and the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, today announced that 39-year old Barry Osbourne is charged with six counts of TennCare fraud, a Class D felony.  The charges accuse Osbourne of visiting multiple physicians in a short period of time to obtain medications for pain, without disclosing to the doctors that he had obtained another similar prescription recently from a different doctor.

“With the help of local law enforcement communities, Tennessee has emphasized a concerted effort to prevent doctor shopping and fight the scourge of opioid abuse,” Inspector General Kim Harmon said. “Together we work to keep prescription drugs from being diverted to the streets of our hometowns.”

The case is being prosecuted by District Attorney General Ken C. Baldwin of Washington County.

The OIG, which is separate from TennCare, began full operation in February 2005 and has investigated more than 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, 3,107 people have been charged with TennCare fraud.

The OIG’s most wanted for TennCare fraud are posted online at https://www.tn.gov/finance/fa-oig/fa-oig-most-wanted.html. Anyone with information about their whereabouts is urged to use the contact information on the page.  

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.”