Woman indicted on TennCare fraud

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

According to the state's department of finance and administration, a Marshall County woman has been indicted for TennCare fraud involving "doctor shopping," a crime which involves using TennCare benefits to go to multiple doctors in a short time period to obtain controlled substances.

The Office of Inspector General (OIG) with the assistance of the Lewisburg Police Department announced the arrest on May 21 of Bobbie Lopez, 37, of Belfast.

Lopez is charged with two counts of fraudulently using TennCare to obtain controlled substances by "doctor shopping." The controlled substance in this case is the addictive painkiller oxycodone. She is accused of failing to disclose to her doctor she had seen other physicians in a 30-day period to obtain additional prescriptions for the same or similar drug. The physician office visits were paid in part by TennCare.

"We have received an outstanding response from physicians and other providers across the state in our efforts to crack down on people who 'doctor shop' using the TennCare program," Inspector General Deborah Faulkner said. "We're closing the loopholes that people use to gain access to prescription drugs by fraudulent means in TennCare."

TennCare fraud involving doctor shopping is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison on each charge.

The Grand Jury also handed down a seven-count indictment for TennCare fraud for Shana Dyer. Dyer is alleged to have obtained eight prescriptions for hydrocodone between March 15 and May 10, 2008, by making a series of visits to doctors' offices and emergency rooms.