NASHVILLE – A Cannon County woman is charged with TennCare fraud involving “doctor shopping,” or using TennCare 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 Woodbury Police Department, today announced the arrest of Brandy Paull, 30, of Bradyville. She is charged with five counts of fraudulently using TennCare to obtain controlled substances by “doctor shopping.”
The charges say Paull went to multiple physicians within a 30-day period, receiving prescriptions for the strong painkillers Hydrocodone and Morphine. The physician office visits or prescriptions were paid for by TennCare.
“People who engage in TennCare fraud will be investigated and prosecuted to the full extent of the law,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “We will not tolerate this abuse of the TennCare program.”
TennCare doctor shopping is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years per charge in prison. District Attorney General William Whitesell, Jr. is prosecuting.
The OIG, which is separate from TennCare, began full operation in February 2005 and has investigated cases leading to over $3.5 million paid in restitution and recoupment to TennCare, with a total estimated cost avoidance of over $173 million for the TennCare program, according to latest figures. To date, nearly 1,500 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."