NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A Maury County woman is charged in both Maury and Williamson Counties with TennCare fraud involving doctor shopping, or using the state’s healthcare insurance program to visit multiple doctors in a short time period seeking prescription drugs.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG), with the assistance of the Maury and Williamson County Sheriff’s Offices, today announced the arrest of Ashlyn Brooke Cummins, 21, of Columbia. She is charged in a Maury County indictment with two counts of TennCare fraud involving doctor shopping. After posting bond, Cummins was then transported to Williamson County, where she was charged with one count of the same charge. In both incidents, Cummins used TennCare benefits to obtain the painkiller Hydrocodone.
“Opioid abuse is a grave concern in Tennessee,” Inspector General Kim Harmon said. “We appreciate the assistance of local law enforcement and healthcare providers in preventing TennCare dollars from being used to fund prescription drug abuse.”
Maury County District Attorney General Brent Cooper is prosecuting and Williamson County District Attorney General Kim R. Helper will be prosecuting the Williamson County case. TennCare fraud is a Class D felony punishable by up to four years in prison per charge.
The OIG, which is separate from TennCare, began full operation in February 2005 and has investigated cases leading to more than $3 million being repaid to TennCare, with a total estimated cost avoidance of more than $163.6 million for TennCare, according to latest figures. To date, 2,974 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.”