What’s in a Name? Medical Spas and the Law

Adrian RubinGenerally speaking, people consider a medical spa to be a facility that operates under the supervision of a licensed healthcare professional during business hours. This healthcare professional must be operating under the scope set forth by his or her license, and must be available on-site. Furthermore, the other staff members must also be working within the scope of practice as set forth by their licensing board.

While this definition seems simple enough in understanding a medical spa or “med spa”, there are certain considerations that potential clients should be aware of before receiving a treatment or service from this type of business – especially since the specific laws and requirements vary by state.

  1. Research. Find out who the licensed healthcare professional is meant to oversee your procedure. What is his or her success rate? Have there been any documented legal cases or complaints against this particular professional or establishment. Once you find out who the licensed healthcare professional is, take time to research the actual scope of his or her practice, and ensure that the licensing is up to date.
  2. Find out the actual financial cost and potential physical side effects of your procedure or service. Often times the services offered by medical spas are not covered by your healthcare insurance, so make sure that you are aware of all of the potential costs going in. Furthermore, while the services offered at medical spas are often less invasive than those found at a traditional medical facility, make sure that you are very clear about your current medications, sensitivities and medical history beforehand. Even though a service or procedure may seem minor, make sure that you are transparent about any potential complications. This is another area where you should do your own research and consider consulting with your primary care physician beforehand.
  3. Find out the rules specific to your state. Many states operate under different legal requirements and practices, because of this, make sure that you understand the requirements in licensing for the professionals that you encounter. Arm yourself with as much information as possible.