Rhea Co. Man Charged 2nd Time this Month With TennCare Fraud
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A Rhea County man is charged for the second time this month 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) today announced the arrest of Howard Queen, 41, of Spring City. A Rhea County Grand Jury charged Queen with four counts of fraudulently obtaining controlled substances by doctor shopping and using TennCare healthcare insurance benefits as payment. He is also charged with four counts of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud.
Earlier this month, a Morgan County Grand Jury charged Queen with doctor shopping and obtaining the painkiller Oxycodone, a controlled substance, by fraud.
“We have open cases in almost every county in Tennessee,” Inspector General Manny Tyndall said. “We’re committed to stopping this type of activity so TennCare will be there for people who need healthcare and qualify for TennCare.”
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years per charge in prison. District Attorney General J. Michael Taylor is prosecuting the Rhea County case.
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, 2,199 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."