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Davidson Co. Woman Must Repay State for TennCare Fraud

Tuesday, November 05, 2013 | 07:43am

A Davidson County woman charged with fraudulently obtaining TennCare benefits by falsely claiming her minor children were in the home in order to qualify must now repay the state for healthcare insurance benefits she received during the time she was on the program.

The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced that 29-year old Ryan Deette Wagoner, of Nashville, pleaded guilty to TennCare fraud. In exchange for her plea, she was ordered to pay $4,600 to TennCare and $4,800 to the Department of Human Services.  Wagoner was placed on supervised probation for five years, during that time she is not permitted to receive TennCare benefits.  District Attorney General Victor S. Johnson, III prosecuted this case.

Wagoner was arrested last December and charged with TennCare fraud and theft of services. She apparently obtained TennCare medical assistance benefits by concealing the residency of her minor children.  Without reporting them as dependents, she would not have been eligible for TennCare.

“We hope the people who are abusing the TennCare program are getting the message that the Office of Inspector General is aggressively pursuing TennCare fraud and making arrests statewide,” Inspector General Deborah Faulkner said.

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 2,000 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."

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