Tipton Co. Woman Charged with TennCare Doctor Shopping
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A Tipton County woman has been indicted for TennCare fraud involving “doctor shopping,” or using TennCare to pay for multiple provider visits in short time period to obtain controlled substances.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) with the assistance of the Tipton County Sheriff’s Office, today announced the arrest of Dranell F. Barlow, 26, of Covington.
Barlow has been charged with six counts of fraudulently using TennCare to obtain controlled substances while “doctor shopping,” by failing to disclose to her healthcare provider she had seen other providers within a short time period and received prescriptions for the same or similar controlled substances. TennCare paid for either the clinical visits or the prescriptions.
"We have received an overwhelming response from physicians across the state who are joining us in eliminating doctor shopping,” Inspector General Manny Tyndall said. “Before the doctor shopping law, physicians’ hands were tied. Now with their help, we are aggressively pursuing these cases.”
TennCare fraud involving doctor shopping is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years per charge in prison. District Attorney General Michael Dunavant 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, 2,211 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."