Rhea County Man Charged with Doctor Shopping for Drugs
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A Rhea County man is charged in Morgan County 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 Morgan County Sheriff’s Office, today announced the arrest of Howard Queen, 41, of Spring City. He is charged in a Morgan County indictment with doctor shopping and obtaining a controlled substance, Oxycodone, by willfully and with the intent to deceive his healthcare provider.
"We are winning the war against TennCare fraud, and the front line of that battle is prescription drug fraud," Inspector General Manny Tyndall said. "We will vigorously prosecute people accused of committing all TennCare fraud, as well as those who attempt to abuse the program."
TennCare fraud involving doctor shopping is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison. Obtaining a controlled substance by fraud is a Class A misdemeanor. District Attorney General Russell Johnson is prosecuting.
The OIG, which is separate from TennCare, began full operation in February 2005 and has investigated cases leading to over $5 million being repaid to TennCare, with a total estimated cost avoidance of over $176 million for TennCare, according to latest figures. To date, 2,191 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."