Knox Co. Woman Charged in Dickson Co. with TennCare Fraud
A Knox County woman is charged in Dickson County with using family members’ TennCare benefits to pay for forged prescriptions at a Dickson pharmacy.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) and the 23rd Judicial District Drug Task Force today announced the arrest of Michelle Ann Henson, 36, of Knoxville.
A Dickson County Grand Jury charged Henson with three counts of TennCare fraud and two counts of identity theft. The charges say she used both her son’s and her husband’s TennCare benefits to pay for forged prescriptions of the addictive painkiller Hydrocodone.
“It is particularly troubling when someone who is not eligible for TennCare tries to find a way to use the program to pay for medical services,” Inspector General Deborah Faulkner said. “When this activity is discovered, the OIG will aggressively investigate and prosecute anyone committing fraud against the TennCare program.”
Fraudulently obtaining TennCare medical benefits is a Class E felony that carries a maximum penalty of two years in prison. Identity theft which is a Class D felony carries a sentence of up to four years in prison. District Attorney General Dan M. Alsobrooks will prosecute.
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."