Former federal ‘anti-fraud czar’ Peter Budetti joins whistleblower law firm Phillips & Cohen

WASHINGTON, DC, March 11, 2015 – Dr. Peter P. Budetti, a former Deputy Administrator with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, has joined Phillips & Cohen LLP as Of Counsel.

Known as the "anti-fraud czar," Dr. Budetti served for three years as the first director of CMS's new Center for Program Integrity (CPI), where he enacted a major shift in CMS’s approach to dealing with Medicare and Medicaid fraud. CMS’s traditional "pay and chase" efforts were outdated and ineffective. Under his leadership, CMS began to focus on early detection and prevention of fraud, saving taxpayer funds before they were lost to fraud.

"Peter Budetti brings an exceptional knowledge of government healthcare programs and Medicare and Medicaid fraud, which will make Phillips & Cohen an even more effective advocate for our whistleblower clients," said Mary Louise Cohen, a founding partner of the law firm. "We are very pleased that he has decided to join our firm."

Dr. Budetti’s office at CMS designed and implemented an innovative, highly sophisticated computer system that screens every Medicare fee-for-service claim with advanced algorithms to search for fraud prior to payment. The Center for Program Integrity also constructed and put into operation a high-tech antifraud Command Center and the framework for physicians to report payments from pharmaceutical companies and others under the Physician Sunshine Act.

Prior to his appointment at CMS by President Obama, Dr. Budetti held many senior positions in government and academia that focused on medical and health issues. He served for six years as Counsel on the Subcommittee on Health and Environment, chaired by Rep. Henry A. Waxman, in the US House of Representatives. Dr. Budetti also was a staff member of the Senate Finance Committee and a core legislative drafter for President Bill Clinton's Health Security Act.

He held tenured professorships and founded health policy research centers at Northwestern University and The George Washington University, and was a faculty member of the Institute for Health Policy Studies, University of California San Francisco. For the six years prior to his appointment at CMS, Dr. Budetti was the Edward E. and Helen T. Bartlett Foundation Professor of Public Health in the University of Oklahoma’s College of Public Health. He is the author of numerous articles published in medical and public health journals.

Dr. Budetti is a board-certified pediatrician and a member of the California bar. He received his medical degree from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and his law degree from the University of California Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall). He graduated magna cum laude from the University of Notre Dame.

For 12 years he served as chairman of the board of directors of Taxpayers Against Fraud, a nonprofit organization dedicated to combating fraud against the government and investors and supporting whistleblowers.