POLITICO Influence: ‘Telehealth Cliff’ Draws Lobbying From Nontraditional Players

February 11, 2022 | By Caitlin Oprysko with Daniel Lippman

POLITICO Influence: ‘Telehealth Cliff’ Draws Lobbying From Nontraditional Players

‘TELEHEALTH CLIFF’ DRAWS LOBBYING FROM NONTRADITIONAL PLAYERS: “Ahead of an election-year spending showdown, lobbying efforts to make telehealth services more widely available are in overdrive,” POLITICO’s Megan Wilson and Ben Leonard report.

— “In all, 485 entities listed lobbying on telehealth issues on disclosure forms in 2021, according to a POLITICO analysis, more than three times the number in 2019, before the coronavirus spread through the United States, forcing millions to turn to virtual medical care.”

— “‘What happened is America kind of woke up, as well as, frankly, the lobbying stakeholders kind of woke up almost overnight, and said, “We don’t want to lose this. This has become embedded in the way we deliver care,”’ said Dean Rosen, a partner at lobbying firm Mehlman Consulting who works on telehealth issues. ‘That’s why you’re seeing so many new folks lobbying on this.’”

— “In 2021, disparate companies like tech giant Apple, defense behemoth Lockheed Martin, dairy cooperative Land O’Lakes and Zoom, the video platform that’s become ubiquitous with the Covid-19 pandemic, are pressing Congress to continue telehealth rules that helped expand access. And others already in the space increased their lobbying: For example, virtual health care company Teladoc spent $400,000 on lobbying in 2021, 60 percent more than it did in 2020, according to the analysis.”