NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A Macon County woman is charged with TennCare fraud in two nearby counties, both involving doctor shopping, or using TennCare to go to multiple doctors in a short time period to obtain prescriptions for controlled substances. And it’s not her first time for being charged with TennCare fraud.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG), assisted by sheriff’s officers in Overton and Wilson Counties, today announced the arrest of Christy M. Allen, 41, of Red Boiling Springs. She was served with a TennCare fraud charge in Overton County and after posting bond, turned herself in at the Wilson County Sheriff’s office, where she faces five counts of TennCare fraud involving doctor shopping. In both incidents Allen used her TennCare benefits to obtain Norco, a narcotic that combines hydrocodone and acetaminophen.
Allen was previously charged with doctor shopping last December in Smith County. That case is still awaiting a court date.
“Prescription drug abuse is public enemy number one in communities across the state, “Inspector General Manny Tyndall said. “Healthcare providers and local law enforcement across the state are working with us to investigate and prosecute these types of crimes.”
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison per charge. District Attorney General Bryant C. Dunaway is prosecuting the Overton County Case. District Attorney General Tom P. Thompson will be prosecuting the Wilson County case.
The OIG, which is separate from TennCare, began full operation in February 2005 and has investigated cases leading to more than $3 million being repaid to TennCare, with a total estimated cost avoidance of more than $163.6 million for TennCare, according to latest figures. To date, more than 2,536 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 go to www.tn.gov/tnoig/ and follow the prompts that read “Report TennCare Fraud.”