Knox County Woman Charged with TennCare "Doctor Shopping"
NASHVILLE, TN – A Knox County woman is charged with TennCare fraud involving “doctor shopping,” or using TennCare to go to multiple doctors in a short time period to obtain controlled substances.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG), with the assistance of the Knox County Sheriff’s Office, today announced the arrest of Lisa Denise Phillips, 48, of Knoxville. She is charged in an indictment with ten counts of TennCare “doctor shopping,” and eight counts of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud. Phillips used TennCare benefits to pay for the doctor’s office visits.
“People should know that before the electronic age, ‘doctor shopping’ went mainly undetected, but today we have many more tools to detect this crime,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said.
TennCare fraud involving doctor shopping 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 that carries a sentence of up to four years in prison per charge. District Attorney General Randall Nichols 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 1,700 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."