Blount County Woman Charged with TennCare Fraud
NASHVILLE, TN - A Blount County woman is charged with TennCare fraud and theft of services after receiving healthcare insurance benefits through the state’s Medicaid managed care program, even though she was not eligible.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of Amanda Church, 26, of Maryville. She is charged with two counts of TennCare fraud and two counts of theft of services. The Blount County Sheriff’s Office assisted in Church’s arrest.
Charges accuse Church of making false statements or by other fraudulent means claiming that she was responsible for minor children in her household, which made her eligible for TennCare.
“People who misrepresent something about their current situation in order to qualify for TennCare are going to be caught and prosecuted,” Inspector General Deborah Faulkner said. “TennCare fraud is a felony, and a conviction could mean jail time, paying the state back for any medical services received, or even forfeiture of the right to apply for TennCare in the future.”
The TennCare fraud charge is a Class E felony that could result in a sentence of up to two years in prison per charge. Theft of services over $1,000 is a Class D felony punishable by two to four years in prison per charge. District Attorney General Mike Flynn 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 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."