Woman charged with TennCare fraud

Friday, May 28, 2010

A Lewisburg woman is charged with TennCare fraud after attempting to use TennCare to pay for an altered prescription.

Heather R. Rogers, 20, was arrested on a warrant alleging she changed a prescription for the painkiller Hydrocodone from 10, for which the prescription was written, to 20 pills.

Tennessee's Office of Inspector General announced Rogers' arrest, adding that it was assisted by the Lewisburg Police Department.

"She's accused of attempting to get the forged prescription filled, and to use TennCare to pay for it at a local pharmacy," the Inspector General's office announced on Tuesday afternoon. "She did not receive the medication."

Inspector General Deborah Faulkner says "Altering a prescription to increase the amount of a narcotic is one of the methods used by those who are trying to get painkillers, but pharmacists keep a watchful eye for suspicious prescription amounts. We're thankful pharmacists are catching this and stopping the transactions so we can pursue the cases."

Rogers faces one count of TennCare fraud. Penalties for the charge can include up to two years in prison. The District Attorney's office, led by Charles Crawford of Lincoln County, is prosecuting Rogers.

The OIG, which is separate from TennCare, began full operation in February 2005 and has investigated cases leading to the recovery of more than $2.5 million. The office estimates that its work has avoided more than $171 million in fraudulent claims being paid by TennCare. More than 1,100 people have been charged with TennCare fraud through the Inspector General's program.

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."