Thursday, August 12, 2010

Putnam County Man Charged With TennCare Fraud

A Putnam County Grand Jury has indicted a Cookeville resident for TennCare fraud related to allegedly selling prescription drugs paid for by TennCare. The Office of Inspector General today announced the arrest of Jack Huffman, Jr, 47. The arrest is the result of a joint effort with the OIG and the Putnam County Sheriff's Office.

Huffman is indicted for selling the prescription drug Suboxone, which was paid for with TennCare benefits. Suboxone is an opioid medication, usually taken to treat addiction to other opiates, such as heroin. After obtaining the prescriptions, Huffman sold a portion of the pills to an undercover agent. Huffman has been charged with one count of TennCare fraud.

"The fraudulent misuse of TennCare pharmacy benefits is simply not tolerated by communities, providers and law enforcement," Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. "We are working closely with local law enforcement agencies and pharmacies across the state to investigate and prosecute these types of crimes."

TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison. District Attorney General Randy York is prosecuting.

The OIG, which is separate from TennCare, began full operation in February 2005 and has investigated cases leading to over $2.5 million paid in restitution and recoupment to TennCare, with a total estimated cost avoidance of over $171 million for the TennCare program, according to latest figures. To date, over 1,240 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."