Sequatchie Co. Woman Charged 2nd Time with TennCare "Doctor Shopping"
NASHVILLE, TN – A Sequatchie County woman is charged with TennCare “doctor shopping” for the second time in less than a month.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG), along with Hamilton County Sheriffs’ Officers, today announced the arrest of 32-year old Christy Lynn Stewart of Dunlap. She is charged in Hamilton County with three counts of fraudulently using TennCare to obtain a controlled substance by “doctor shopping,” or going to multiple doctors in a short period of time in order to obtain prescription drugs. Stewart received prescriptions for the painkiller Hydrocodone, and paid for the physician office visits with TennCare insurance.
Stewart was just arrested on September 27, after a Sequatchie County indictment, when she was accused of the same activity – “doctor shopping” for Hydrocodone, using TennCare as payment.
“Prescription drug fraud and abuse is a focus of law enforcement and communities across the state, and we are continuing to track these cases from county to county,” Inspector General Deborah Faulkner said. “We will continue to investigate and prosecute these cases aggressively.”
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison per charge. District Attorney General William H. Cox, III is prosecuting the Hamilton County case.
The OIG, which is separate from TennCare, began full operation in February 2005 and has investigated cases leading to over $3.5 million paid in restitution and recoupment to TennCare, with a total estimated cost avoidance of over $173 million for the TennCare program, according to latest figures. To date, over 1,700 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."