TennCare fraud arrests reach 1,000 mark

tsj POLICE REPORTSNASHVILLE (press release)—The arrest of two people named in Putnam County indictments brings to 1,000 the total number of people charged with TennCare fraud since the Office of Inspector General (OIG) was formed and given authority to pursue fraud cases.

The OIG today announced the two arrests—both accused of prescription drug fraud within the TennCare program.

The OIG became fully operational in February of 2005, after Gov. Phil Bredesen led the push for legislation creating the unit and laws supporting its efforts.

“As more and more people are interested in prescription drugs instead of ‘street’ drugs, I think our efforts will be even more in demand,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “We’re certainly not going to slow down at 1,000, as our agents are in the field today pursuing cases.”

Angela S. Tindle, 36, of Cookeville, was charged with four counts of TennCare fraud for using TennCare to pay for forged prescriptions on four separate occasions for the painkiller Hydrocodone, two preparations of insulin—humulin and novolin, and syringes.

Jamie L. Bowman, 36, of Baxter was charged with four counts of TennCare fraud.  Bowman is accused of using TennCare to pay for fraudulent prescriptions for the painkiller hydrocodone on four separate occasions.

The OIG, which is separate from TennCare, began full operation in February 2005 and has investigated cases leading to over $2.6 million paid in restitution and recoupment to TennCare, with a total estimated cost avoidance of over $165 million for the TennCare program, according to latest figures. To date, 1,000 people have been charged with TennCare fraud.

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