NASHVILLE (press release)—A mother and daughter are charged in Rutherford County in separate TennCare fraud charges involving doctor shopping for prescription drugs.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG), with the assistance of the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office, today announced the arrest of Keisha Chavis, 41, and 24-year old Brittany Chavis, both of Smyrna.
Keisha Chavis is charged with 13 counts of doctor shopping for drugs, using TennCare as payment, along with two counts of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud. Daughter Brittany is charged with eight counts of TennCare fraud involving doctor shopping for prescription drugs, using TennCare as payment. Both women are accused of visiting multiple physicians in a short period of time to obtain prescriptions for the painkiller Tramadol, using TennCare as payment.
“We’re very grateful for the assistance we receive from local police as well as pharmacies and providers who all want to bring an end to the abuse of TennCare, especially in the area of prescription drugs,” Inspector General Manny Tyndall said. “We’ll keep pursuing people who commit these crimes as many times as it takes until they understand we’re not tolerating this type of abuse of the TennCare program.”
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison per charge. District Attorney General Jennings H. Jones 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, 2,397 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.