Authorities have charged a Weakley County woman with TennCare fraud.
Officials with the Tennessee Office of Inspector General say the woman, Tina Mays, 44, of Gleason, fraudulently used the state’s health insurance program to obtain controlled substances, according to a state press release.
The practice is otherwise known as doctor shopping.
OIG officials, along with Madison County Sheriff’s officers, arrested Mays. They charged her with four counts of fraudulently using TennCare to visit multiple doctors to obtain prescriptions for the painkiller Hydrocodone, according to a press release.
“Tennesseans won’t stand for TennCare resources to be used to fuel the opioid crisis,” Inspector General Kim Harmon said in the press release.
“The Office of Inspector General works diligently with other state and local agencies to deter prescriptions being diverted to the streets.”
TennCare fraud is a Class D felony carrying a sentence of up to four years in prison per charge. District Attorney General Jody Pickens is prosecuting, according to the press release.
State officials have made other TennCare fraud arrests of late.
As The Tennessee Star reported this month, law enforcement officials have charged a Jefferson County woman with allegedly falsifying her income to obtain healthcare insurance through the state program. A Jefferson County grand jury charged her with TennCare fraud theft of property over $10,000.
As The Star reported in December, authorities arrested and charged a Florida woman with TennCare fraud — for the sixth time.
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 the latest figures. To date, 3,068 people have been charged with TennCare fraud, according to a press release.
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 www.tn.gov/tnoig/ and follow the prompts that read “Report TennCare Fraud.”