Two Sullivan Co. Women Charged with TennCare Fraud
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Two people in Sullivan County are charged with TennCare fraud in separate cases.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrests:
- Tracy L. Hanifin, 43, of Kingsport, is charged with fraudulently obtaining prescription drugs by doctor shopping for controlled substances, using TennCare as payment.
- Jennifer Carter, 38, of Bristol, is charged with two counts of TennCare fraud and two counts of theft of services, in connection with fraudulently obtaining health care insurance benefits through TennCare.
“Providers, law enforcement and citizens across the state are alert to TennCare fraud, and working with us to eliminate fraud in TennCare,” Inspector General Manny Tyndall said. “TennCare fraud is a felony, and a conviction could mean jail time, paying the state back for any medical services received, or even losing TennCare benefits for a period of time, even for those who qualify.”
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony, carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison per charge. The theft of services charges carry a sentence of up to up six years in prison. District Attorney General Barry P. Staubus 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, 2,203 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."