JAMESTOWN – A former Fentress County physician faces 40 counts of TennCare fraud and two counts of theft for writing illegal prescriptions for controlled substances, according to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.
Vijaya Patibandla, 68, was arrested Thursday at his home in Valley Stream, N.Y., and booked at the Nassau County Correctional Center, where he remained on a $150,000 bond. He is to be extradited to Tennessee.
The TBI’s investigation into Patibandla began in August 2009. He practiced internal medicine in Jamestown, where many of his patients were TennCare recipients, a TBI release said.
From November 2007-December 2010, TBI agents found that he was writing “illegal prescriptions for controlled substances while charging TennCare for patients’ visits to get the prescriptions.”
According to the TBI, he later closed his practice and moved to New York, where he continues to have an active medical license. He surrendered his Tennessee medical license in 2012.
A Fentress County grand jury indicted Patibandla in December.
Agencies involved in the investigation included the Jamestown Police Department, Fentress County Sheriff’s Office, the Monterey Police Department, Tennessee Medical Board and the Tennessee Pharmacy Board. Rhe investigation continues in conjunction with the office of 8th Judicial District Attorney General Jared Effler, according to the TBI.