Cumberland Co. Woman Charged 2nd Time with TennCare "Doctor Shopping"
NASHVILLE – A Cumberland County woman is charged for the second time with TennCare “doctor shopping,” or going to more than one doctor in a short period of time to obtain prescription drugs, using TennCare.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG), with the assistance of the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office, today announced the arrest of 35-year old Patricia R. Martin, of Crossville. Martin was indicted by an Anderson County Grand Jury and charged with three counts of fraudulently using TennCare to obtain prescriptions for Hydrocodone. She was being held in the Cumberland County jail on an unrelated charge when the latest indictment was unsealed, but was later transported to the Anderson County Jail, where she was served with the indictment.
“This type of activity is illegal – if an individual is involved in TennCare doctor shopping to gain prescription drugs, they will be investigated by the Office of Inspector General and prosecuted,” Inspector General Deborah Faulkner said. “The message is simple, doctor shop and you will go to jail.”
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison per charge. District Attorney General David Clark is prosecuting the Anderson 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.