NASHVILLE (press release)—A Marshall County woman is charged in both Lincoln and Coffee Counties with TennCare fraud involving doctor shopping, which involves going to multiple doctors in a short period of time to obtain prescription drugs, using TennCare as payment.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) with the assistance of the Lincoln and Coffee County Sheriff’s Offices, today announced the arrest of Lisa M. Powell, 49, of Petersburg. She is charged in Lincoln County with two counts of fraudulently using TennCare to obtain a controlled substance by doctor shopping. Once those charges were disposed of, she turned herself in to the Coffee County Jail, where she was served with three counts of obtaining a controlled substance by doctor shopping.
“Anyone using TennCare to go from doctor to doctor to get drugs will be caught and prosecuted,” Inspector General Manny Tyndall said. “We’re committed to weeding this activity out of the TennCare program and preserve it for people who truly need it.”
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony, carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison per charge. District Attorney General Robert Carter will be prosecuting the Lincoln County Case. District Attorney General Craig Northcott is prosecuting the Coffee County case.
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, 2,380 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 TN.gov/tnoig/ and follow the prompts that read “Report TennCare Fraud.”