Hamilton Co. Woman Charged with TennCare Doctor Shopping
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A Hamilton County woman is charged 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 assistance from the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office, today announced the arrest of Kelli Jeanine Bush, also known as Kelli J. Forrester, 34, of Harrison. She is charged with six counts of fraudulently using TennCare to obtain controlled substances by doctor shopping as well as six counts of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud and one count of forgery.
"We are becoming increasingly proactive in our investigations," Acting Inspector General Lawrence S. Saylor, Jr., said. "The Hamilton County Sheriff´s Office is one of many state law enforcement agencies contributing to our aggressive effort to thwart TennCare fraud."
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 and forgery are Class D felonies that carry a sentence of up to four years in prison. District Attorney General Neal Pinkston 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, 2,179 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."