Lawrence Co. Man Charged with 2nd Time with TennCare Drug Fraud
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A Lawrence County man is charged a second time with TennCare fraud related to prescription drugs.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of 61-year old Michael M. Kelley, of Lawrenceburg. He is charged in Maury County with doctor shopping for the painkiller Oxycodone, using TennCare as payment. Doctor shopping is when person visits multiple physicians in a short period of time – 30 days – to obtain controlled substances, using TennCare as payment. The Maury County Sheriff’s Office assisted in Kelley’s arrest.
Kelley was first arrested in February after an indictment in Lawrence County where he faces the same charges involving doctor shopping. Both cases were being worked simultaneously, with indictments served just a month apart.
“Prescription drug abuse is a concern of communities large and small across Tennessee,” Inspector General Manny Tyndall said. “With the help of providers, we’re sending a message that abusing TennCare will result in criminal prosecution.”
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony, carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison. District Attorney General Brent Cooper is prosecuting.
The OIG, which is separate from TennCare, began full operation in February 2005 and has investigated cases leading to over $3 million being repaid to TennCare, with a total estimated cost avoidance of over $163.6 million for TennCare, according to latest figures. To date, 2,319 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."