Hamilton County Woman Charged With TennCare Fraud

Monday, October 21, 2013
Joanna Killingsworth
Joanna Killingsworth

A Hamilton County woman has been charged with TennCare fraud involving doctor shopping - using TennCare healthcare insurance benefits to go to multiple doctors to obtain prescriptions for a controlled substance.

The Office of Inspector General (OIG) with assistance from the Hamilton County Sheriff, on Monday announced the arrest of Joanna E. Killingsworth, also known as Joanna E. McGee, 29, of Chattanooga.  She is charged with five counts of fraudulently using TennCare to obtain a controlled substance by doctor shopping, and five counts of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud. 

Ms. Killingsworth is accused of seeing two or more doctors within a 30-day period in an effort to receive prescriptions for controlled substances, with the physician office visits, prescriptions or both being paid for by TennCare.

“We are glad to have the doctor-shopping law available to go after people who are involved in this activity in the TennCare program,” Inspector General Deborah Faulkner said.  “Other states don’t have this kind of tool and it’s helped us weed out some of the prescription drug abuse in TennCare.

TennCare fraud is a Class E felony, carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison per charge.  Obtaining a controlled substance by fraud is a Class D felony, carrying a sentence of up to four years in prison if convicted. District Attorney General William H. Cox III 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 1,900 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 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."


Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: COX, KEYOTA SHAREECE 2002 MILNE ST CHATTANOOGA, 37406 30 Chattanooga AGGRAVATED ASSAULT - DOMESTIC GAMBLE, TIMOTHY DANIEL HOMELESS SODDY DAISY, 37384 34 Chattanooga CONTEMPT OF COURT CONTEMPT OF COURT GIL, JUSTIN TYLER 1589 PORTER RD TRENTON, 30752 18 Hamilton County DRIVING ... (click for more)

East Ridge Council Approves Purchase Of Site For Displaced Fire Hall; To Look At Updated Sign Ordinance, Controls On Pawn Shops

The East Ridge City Council on Thursday night voted 5-0 to purchase a site of about two acres on St. Thomas Avenue for a location for the displaced fire hall that was at the entrance to Camp Jordan Park. That fire hall had to be dismantled recently because it was in the way of the Jordan Crossing development, which will feature a Bass Pro Shop. The site, which is behind a ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Has Always Been A Battleground Between Good And Evil

From the thousands slain in nearby Chickamauga Battlefield during the Civil War…  To the launching point of the Cherokee Indian’s Trail of Tears…  To the lunch counter sit-ins led by Howard School students — the only high school student sit-ins in the nation — during the Civil Rights Movement…  To Walter Cronkite calling the polluted Southern industrial town ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Our 92-Year-Old Victim

It is with great pride, and far greater relief, that I can report a “caretaker” is far different than a “boyfriend.” A story out of Memphis earlier this week morphed into a virtual fireball that had such power it appeared on the front page on a London newspaper and other news outlets all around the world when it was reported by the Associated Press a 28-year-old man had assaulted ... (click for more)

Baylor Girls Lose In State Basketball Semifinals, 69-61

NASHVILLE -- The third time wasn't the charm for the Baylor Lady Red Raiders. Facing the Brentwood Academy Lady Eagles in the semifinals of the D-II Class AA girls state basketball tournament at Lipscomb University, Baylor came up short for the third time this season against the Lady Eagles by a 69-61 final score. It was a see-saw affair with seven ties and 13 lead changes, ... (click for more)

Region 3-AAA To Play Friday With Earlier Start Times

The Region 3-AAA basketball tournament, despite schools being closed, will resume on Friday at Ooltewah High School with four semifinal games on the schedule. While the matchups remain the same, start time for the games have been moved up to 2 p.m., 3:30 p.m., 5 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., Ooltewah athletic director Jesse Nayadley said. While schools will be closed on Friday, Nayadley ... (click for more)