Sullivan Co. Woman Charged with TennCare Drug Fraud
NASHVILLE, TN - A Sullivan County woman is charged with selling prescription drugs obtained through benefits under the TennCare state healthcare insurance plan.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of Amelia G. Dugger, 47, of Kingsport. Dugger was arrested after an investigation by the Kingsport Police Department.
Dugger is accused of using TennCare benefits to obtain a controlled substance and then selling a portion of the drugs. The discovery came during a narcotics-based search warrant executed at her home, and officials later learned that TennCare was used to obtain the drugs.
“Local police as well as healthcare providers are clearly committed to eliminating prescription drug abuse in our communities,” Inspector General Deborah Faulkner said. “We’re doing our part to stop this kind of abuse in the TennCare program.”
If convicted, the TennCare fraud charge against Dugger could result in a two-year sentence. District Attorney General Barry Straubus 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 1,900 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."