McMinn County Woman Charged with TennCare Drug Fraud

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Friday, December 08, 2017 11:58am

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A McMinn County woman is charged with doctor shopping for prescription drugs, using TennCare as payment for the pills. Doctor shopping involves visiting multiple doctors in a short period of time to obtain prescription drugs.

The Office of Inspector General (OIG), with the assistance of the Etowah Police Department, today announced the arrest of Pamela J. Huston, 49, of Etowah. She is charged with two counts of TennCare fraud by doctor shopping for the painkillers hydrocodone and oxycodone, using TennCare as payment.

“We’re told that opioid abuse in Tennessee is at epidemic levels and is one of Tennessee’s biggest challenges,” Inspector General Manny Tyndall said. “We’re committed to eliminating the opioid scourge in TennCare.”

District Attorney General Stephen D. Crump is prosecuting. TennCare fraud is now a Class D felony punishable by up to four years in prison.

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, 2,930 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 800-433-3982 toll-free from anywhere in Tennessee, or visit the website and follow the prompts that read “Report TennCare Fraud.”

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