Government and regulatory partner Libby Baney spoke to Second Opinion about the latest trends in federal lobbying activity and legislative reform in the U.S. regarding telehealth. She said, “Telehealth is the easiest thing to talk about but the hardest thing to do.”
The publication explained that the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has the statutory authority to establish a special registration process, which may allow licensed telehealth clinicians to bypass the Ryan Haight Act’s in-person requirement. Baney addressed the growing concern, particularly for virtual care companies or providers that remotely touch the Ryan Haight Act, that there could be a material time gap between the end of the public health emergency waiver and the DEA taking action.
In response to the question, “How should health care startups think about advocacy?” Baney explained that in a qualitative sense, defensive work can “be some of the most impactful investment” a business can make in government affairs.
Regarding strategies that health care companies can take to influence policy, Baney emphasized that one benefit of working through trade associations and/or establishing new informal alliances is efficacy. She stated that this approach is “highly effective because policymakers tend to listen when diverse groups come together around a shared solution.”