Health care fuels first-half lobbying
Hospitals, health plans, Mass General Brigham spend most
THE STATE HOUSE remains closed to the public, but the business of lobbying on Beacon Hill keeps rolling along, particularly in health care.
According to data gathered by Secretary of State William Galvin’s office, lobbying expenditures remained fairly stable in the first six months of this year, with the same players spending roughly the same amount of money they did a year ago and the year before that.
Health care businesses were the most active, accounting for half of the top 20 spenders. The Massachusetts Health and Hospitals Association spent nearly $440,000 on lobbying over the first six months of the year, followed by the Massachusetts Association of Health Plans ($379,757) and Mass General Brigham ($292,784), the state’s largest hospital system.
Other health care providers in the top 20 were the Massachusetts Nurses Association ($270,904), Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts ($266,518), the Massachusetts Association for Mental Health ($188,157), the Massachusetts Medical Society ($185,620), Beth Israel Lahey Health ($183,781), Dana-Farber Cancer Institute ($175,000), Massachusetts Senior Care Association ($175,000), Cambridge Health Alliance ($169,608), and Children’s Hospital ($167,784).
Health care lobbying is entering an intense period this week, with the House set to debate legislation dealing with hospital expansions, which could affect Mass General Brigham’s plans to open ambulatory care centers in Westborough, Westwood, and Woburn. The Senate is taking up mental health legislation, and the Health Policy Commission is advocating for price caps on some of the state’s larger hospital systems.
The top 10 lobbying firms on Beacon Hill saw their revenues rise nearly 5 percent in the first half of the year. Smith, Crawford & Costello retained the No. 1 spot with $2.2 million in fees, followed by O’Neill and Partners at $1.6 million.
ML Strategies ranked No. 3 at $1.47 million, Tremont Strategies was fourth at $1.4 million, Kearney, Donovan & McGee fifth at $1.39 million, Bay State Strategies sixth at $1.2 million, Murphy Donoghue Partners seventh at $1.1 million, and Suffolk Group eighth at $1 million.
Dempsey, Lucey, & Associates, headed by Brian Dempsey, the former chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, moved into the top 10 for the first time at the No. 9 spot with just over $1 million in revenues. Many of the firm’s clients are in health care, including Beth Israel Lahey, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and BMC Health. It is also active on sports betting, representing DraftKings, FanDuel, Major League Baseball, the NBA, and the PGA.Preti Strategies held on to the tenth spot with fees of $949,900, while Rasky Partners fell out of the top 10, dropping to No. 13.
The highest-paid individual lobbyists during the first six months of the year were Charles Anthony Stefanini, at $361,534, and Dempsey, at $350,000.