Fayette Co. Woman Charged with TennCare "Doctor Shopping"

Monday, September 10, 2012 | 12:09 pm

NASHVILLE – A Fayette County woman is charged in Hardeman County with TennCare “doctor shopping,” or going to multiple doctors in a short time frame in order to obtain prescription drugs.

The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of April M. Bishop, 37, of Somerville.  She is charged with three counts of “doctor shopping” for the painkiller Hydrocodone and using TennCare to pay for the prescriptions.

“Prescription drug fraud in TennCare is not only criminal to the taxpayer, it’s a crime against communities where drugs are abused or resold,” Inspector General Deborah Faulkner said. “We’re committed to ensuring that TennCare is not defrauded or misused in any way.”

TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years per charge in prison.   District Attorney General D. Michael Dunavant 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, over 1,700 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."