NASHVILLE, TN – A Rutherford County man is charged with TennCare fraud in connection with selling prescription drugs which were paid for by TennCare, the state’s Medicaid program.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of Mark W. Morrow, 21, of Smyrna, after a joint investigation with the Smyrna Police Department.
Morrow is charged with two counts of TennCare fraud for using the healthcare insurance program’s benefits on two separate occasions to obtain a prescription for Suboxone, while planning to unlawfully sell a portion of the prescriptions. Suboxone is an opiate which is used to treat heroin addiction because it does not have addicting qualities.
“We are winning the battle to stop prescription drug fraud in the TennCare program,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “People are learning it’s not only illegal, conviction can lead to jail time and other consequences.”
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison. District Attorney General William C. 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, 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.”