Bledsoe Co. Woman Charged with TennCare Doctor Shopping
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A Bledsoe County woman is charged in an indictment with TennCare fraud involving “doctor shopping,” which is going from doctor to doctor in a short period of time in order to obtain prescription drugs, using TennCare as payment.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG), with the assistance of the Bledsoe County Sheriff’s Office, today announced the arrest of Kimberly Martin, 30, of Pikeville. She is charged with two counts of doctor shopping using TennCare as payment, and two counts of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud.
"The abuse of TennCare benefits, especially to obtain pain medications, is our number one priority," Inspector General Manny Tyndall said. "Local police, providers and the healthcare community are with us in the effort to weed this problem out of the TennCare program."
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison, and obtaining a controlled substance by fraud is a Class D felony, punishable by two to four years in prison per charge. District Attorney General J. Michael Taylor 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, 2,240 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.