After being on the run for almost a year, a Cannon County woman has been arrested a second time for TennCare fraud involving doctor shopping, or using TennCare to go to multiple doctors to obtain controlled substances.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG), with assistance from the Cannon County Sheriff’s Office, announced the arrest of Kimberly Besner, 39, of Woodbury. She is charged in an indictment issued in January of this year with three counts of fraudulently obtaining controlled substances by doctor shopping for prescriptions for the painkiller Hydrocodone, using TennCare healthcare insurance benefits as payment.
When that indictment was released, Besner had been charged just a month before, in December of 2012, in Rutherford County with three counts of TennCare fraud by doctor shopping for the same or similar controlled substances, using TennCare as payment.
“We want to send a strong message across Tennessee and beyond that a zero tolerance policy has been set forth for TennCare fraud and abuse – and we intend to aggressively enforce it,” Inspector General Deborah Faulkner said.
TennCare fraud involving doctor shopping is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years per charge in prison. District Attorney General William C. Whitesell, Jr. is prosecuting the Cannon County case.
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, over 2,000 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."