Phillips & Cohen attorney Peter Budetti provided expert insight for The New Yorker in a story about becoming a whistleblower in the healthcare industry. Mr. Budetti – a former deputy administrator at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) – provides context about healthcare fraud and the role of whistleblowers:
“We’ve never been able to get a direct measure of exactly how much fraud there is, but one of the clearest indicators is that, the more money is spent on fighting fraud, the more money is recovered by the government,” he said. He now works as an attorney at Phillips & Cohen, a firm that specializes in whistle-blowing cases. Fraud perpetrated by companies in the health-care industry, he said, is especially pernicious. “On the one hand, they are stealing public money,” he told me. “And on the other hand that money is not going to where it’s supposed to go, which is to taking care of people. They aren’t stealing from people who are selling imported shoes. They are stealing from people who would otherwise be immunizing kids or delivering babies. That’s the heart of it.”
But Budetti [said] that, in his experience, most whistle-blowers are driven by frustration and moral outrage, not by money. “Whistle-blowers are one of the absolutely central ingredients in fighting health-care fraud,” Budetti said. “We’re lucky we have a system that encourages them to come forward.”
Read the full article, “The Personal Toll of Whistle-Blowing,” on The New Yorker’s website.