Shelby Co. Woman Must Repay State After TennCare Fraud Conviction
NASHVILLE, TN – A Shelby County woman accused of “doctor shopping” for drugs must now repay the state for healthcare benefits.
Tiffany R. Pittman, 34, of Memphis, was ordered to repay the state’s TennCare healthcare insurance program $17,108.79, after pleading guilty to TennCare fraud, a Class E felony. She also received a four-year suspended sentence.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) brought charges against her in 2011 for seeing multiple physicians in a short period of time to obtain several painkillers, including Oxycodone, Hydrocodone and Codeine. The office visits and the medications were paid for at least in part with TennCare benefits.
“When a person gets busted for TennCare fraud, the result can be prison, fines, restitution to TennCare and even losing the right to apply for TennCare benefits,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “The repercussions can seriously impact the rest of a person’s life.”
District Attorney General Amy T. Weirich prosecuted the 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 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."