Davidson Co. Woman Charged with TennCare Doctor Shopping
NASHVILLE, TN - A Davidson County woman is charged in a Lincoln County indictment with TennCare fraud involving doctor shopping, or using the state’s Medicaid program to go to multiple doctors in order to obtain prescriptions for a controlled substance.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG), assisted by Metro Nashville Police, today announced the arrest of Sherry Ryan, 32, of Nashville. She’s charged with two counts of fraudulently using TennCare to obtain a controlled substance by doctor shopping. In addition, Ryan was charged with two counts of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud.
"The doctor shopping law gives law enforcement a valuable tool in cracking down on people who are abusing the TennCare program,” Inspector General Deborah Faulkner said. “Most often, people charged with doctor shopping are selling a portion or all of the drugs.”
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years per charge in prison. Obtaining a controlled substance by fraud is a Class D felony, punishable by two to four years in prison. District Attorney General Robert Carter will be prosecuting this 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 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."