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TennCare blocks top drug prescribers

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NASHVILLE, TN. (Times Free Press) -- Tennessee has blocked three medical professionals from billing the TennCare program after they prescribed excessive amounts of psychiatric drugs and addictive painkillers, officials said.

In a March 1 letter to U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, TennCare officials said they recently prohibited the prescribers from future billing after a review revealed high prescription rates for painkillers such as Oxycontin and Roxicodone.

Several other medical professionals in Tennessee are "under review" for high prescription rates, according to the March 1 letter, which the Chattanooga Times Free Press obtained Tuesday.

Late Tuesday, TennCare spokeswoman Alyssa Lewis said the medical professionals, all in Knoxville, are licensed physician's assistant Thomas Esser; Dr. Allen Foster, whose medical license was revoked after he pleaded guilty to health care fraud in U.S. District Court in 2011; and nurse practitioner Maimoune Wright, whose license was suspended in February for "unprofessional conduct," state records show.

Read more on the story from our news partners at the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

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