Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee Wants More People to Fight Medicaid Fraud

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Tennessee Republican Gov. Bill Lee reportedly wants more people to fight Medicaid fraud.

Specifically, according to LocalMemphis.com, Lee wants more Tennessee Bureau of Investigation staff members on the trail of Medicaid fraud.

“The TBI director hopes lawmakers approve a request for 26-more staffers in the agency’s Medicaid fraud control unit,” the website reported.

“The group looks for wrongdoing in the state’s huge $12-billion Medicaid program TennCare, that takes up about 30 percent of the state budget.”

The Tennessee Star has recently reported several TennCare fraud arrests.

Tennessee officials, for instance, have announced the arrests of five people charged with TennCare fraud.

According to press releases state officials put out this month:

• Authorities charged a Sullivan County woman with TennCare fraud in connection with the sale of prescription drugs obtained through the state’s health care insurance program.

• Authorities charged a Shelby County woman with TennCare fraud involving doctor shopping, which involves visiting multiple doctors in a short period of time to obtain controlled substances.

• A Davidson County woman charged with TennCare fraud, meanwhile, must repay the state for benefits allegedly received through the healthcare insurance program in a plea deal in Shelby County, according to Tennessee officials.

• A Southaven, Miss. woman was charged with TennCare fraud for falsely and allegedly reporting that she was living in Tennessee in order to obtain benefits from the taxpayer-funded healthcare insurance program, a press release said.

• A Hamilton County woman was charged with TennCare fraud in connection with allegedly using another person’s identity in order to obtain controlled substances.

Also, as The Star reported last year, TennCare gave out more than $700,000 to duplicate members and also to people who were already dead or incarcerated, according to a state audit. All of those recipients were ineligible to receive TennCare money.

The findings covered July 2016 through December 2017. Generally, TennCare must refund the federal share of Medicaid overpayments to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, auditors wrote.

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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to chrisbutlerjournalist@gmail.com.









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