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Jefferson Co. Woman Charged with TennCare Doctor Shopping

Friday, October 25, 2013 | 03:26am

NASHVILLE, TN - A Jefferson County woman is charged in nearby Hamblen County with TennCare fraud involving doctor shopping, a crime involving a person using TennCare healthcare insurance benefits to go to multiple doctors to obtain controlled substances.

The Office of Inspector General (OIG), with assistance from officers with the White Pine Police Department and Hamblen Sheriff’s Office, today announced the arrest of Angela D. Burns, 41, of White Pine.  She is charged with seven counts of fraudulently using TennCare to obtain controlled substances by doctor shopping for controlled substances, using TennCare as payment.

“Technology made it easier to track people who are doctor shopping for drugs for personal use or resale, especially when TennCare is involved,” Inspector General Deborah Faulkner said.  “This is a crime we don’t tolerate in Tennessee and we’re pursuing these cases to the fullest extent.”  

TennCare fraud involving doctor shopping is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years per charge in prison. District Attorney General C. Berkeley Bell is prosecuting.

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 1,900 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."