A Bradley County woman has been charged with TennCare fraud for using the state’s health care insurance program to pay for fraudulent prescriptions, as well as doctor shopping for drugs.
The Office of Inspector General, with the assistance of the Bradley County Sheriff’s Office, on Thursday announced the arrest of Amanda Stringer, 30, of Cleveland. She is accused of using TennCare on three separate occasions to pay for fraudulent prescriptions for controlled substances. Ms. Stringer is also charged with three counts of doctor shopping, or obtaining multiple prescriptions of the same or similar controlled substances within a short time period, using TennCare as payment.
“We are working with municipal and county police officers across the state, as they are sometimes the first to find out that TennCare may have been involved in prescription drug abuse,” Inspector General Manny Tyndall said. “Local police are clearly committed to eliminating prescription drug abuse, and we’re doing our part to stop abusers who are supporting this lifestyle with TennCare.”
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison per charge. District Attorney General Steven Crump is prosecuting.
The OIG, which is separate from TennCare, began full operation in February 2005 and has investigated cases leading to over $5 million being repaid to TennCare, with a total estimated cost avoidance of over $176 million for TennCare, according to latest figures. To date, 2,235 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, or log on to www.tn.gov/tnoig/ and follow the prompts that read "Report TennCare Fraud."