Macon County Woman Charged with Using Children to Commit TennCare Fraud

Tennessee officials charged a Macon County woman with fraudulently obtaining TennCare benefits, according to the state’s Department of Finance and Administration.

That woman, Hanna L. Johnson, 30, of Red Boiling Springs, allegedly and falsely claimed two minor children as dependents. Without those children, Johnson would not qualify for TennCare, Tennessee officials said Tuesday.

Johnson pleaded guilty to theft over $10,000. In exchange, she must pay TennCare $6,000. Johnson also received six years of supervised judicial diversion, according to a state press release.

“Providing false information in order to receive TennCare benefits is a crime – and that crime is theft from state taxpayers,” Inspector General Kim Harmon said in the press release.

“The OIG works diligently to preserve the integrity of TennCare benefits so those truly deserving have the best resources.”

District Attorney General Tom P. Thompson, Jr., prosecuted the case. TennCare fraud is a class D felony punishable by up to four years in prison, state officials said in the press release.

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 latest figures. To date, 3,070 people have been charged with TennCare fraud, the press release said.

As The Tennessee Star reported this month, authorities charged a Weakley County woman, Tina Mayys, with TennCare fraud and say she fraudulently used the state’s health insurance program to obtain controlled substances.

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.

As The Tennessee Star reported in January, law enforcement officials 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.

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.”

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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Hanna L. Johnson” by Tennessee Department of Finance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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