Mississippi woman arrested for defrauding State of Tennessee out of more than $40,000 in healthcare claims, fees

Published 9:45 am Friday, July 2, 2021

A Mississippi woman has been charged with fraud after she reportedly claimed she live in the Tennessee to to obtain healthcare insurance benefits through TennCare for herself and her dependents.

Melanie Kilpatrick, 40, of Olive Branch, is charged with TennCare fraud, which is a class D felony, and theft of property more than $10,000.00 but less than $60,000.00, a class C felony. Investigators allege that Kilpatrick resided in Mississippi when she reported a Tennessee residence in state documents which resulted in TennCare paying more than $40,450.00 in fees and claims.

The Office of Inspector General (OIG), in a joint effort with the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office made the announcement Thursday.

“The OIG would like to recognize the joint effort of the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office,” Inspector General Kim Harmon said. “We hope to continue these strong established relationships to ensure that those who choose to abuse our state Medicaid system will be brought to justice.”

The case is being prosecuted by District Attorney General Amy T. Weirich of Shelby County.

The OIG, which is separate from TennCare, began full operation in February 2005 and has investigated more than 5,760 criminal cases leading to more than $10.8 million being repaid to TennCare, with a total estimated cost avoidance of more than $163.6 million for TennCare, according to latest figures. TennCare’s budget is comprised of both federal and state dollars, 65% and 35% respectfully. To date, 3,127 people have been charged with TennCare fraud.

To access the OIG most wanted list please visit https://www.tn.gov/finance/fa-oig/fa-oig-most-wanted.html, where there is information about reporting tips on one of the subjects.

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 or by logging on to www.tn.gov/oig/ and following the prompts that read “Report TennCare Fraud.”