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Now more than ever, physicians, non-physician providers, and non-licensed providers are becoming interested in offering medical spa (medispa; medspa) and cosmetic services to their patients. According to a recent study, the global medical spa market is expected to reach USD 33.9 billion by 2026 with a compound annual growth ratio of 13.8%. This high growth rate can be linked in part to an increasing number of aesthetic treatments and an increasing variety of specialists entering the space.
However, while the medical spa industry continues to grow, so do the number of investigations by government healthcare regulators and state attorneys general. In recent years, investigations with respect to the unlicensed practice of medicine by cosmetologists and estheticians have become more common, and more providers are being investigated for violations of state scope of practice laws. The federal government has also taken an interest in certain financial arrangements, such as improperly structured space rental agreements, consulting, or medical director arrangements, which they claim are illegal inducements for referrals.
Given the opportunities and risks apparent to the medical spa industry, it is vital that every person in considering starting a medical spa/cosmetic medical practice, and those already in the industry, consult with legal counsel regarding both the federal and state specific, rules and regulations governing medical spa services. In addition, consulting with a transactional healthcare attorney is also advised to ensure that your medical spa’s business is properly structured to reach your desired short or long term financial/investment goals.
The American Medical Spa Association (AmSpa) defines a medical spa as follows:
“Medical spas operate under the full-time supervision of a licensed medical professional in a spa-like setting. When visiting a medical spa, patients can be pampered with traditional spa services but also have the option of getting medical services like Botox, laser hair removal and medical-grade skin therapies. The medical professionals of the med spa are licensed, educated and trained in the medical procedures and treatments provided to ensure the highest level of care for every patient. State regulations differ as to what type of ‘medical professional’ can be an owner or medical director of a medical spa, so we recommend you contact your local attorney for your state’s laws and regulations.”
Traditionally, medical spa services have been provided by dermatologists and plastic surgeons, however, a larger variety of physician specialists (such as OB/GYNS, dentists, and pain medicine specialists) have begun providing cosmetic or “medical spa” services across the United States.
As a national boutique law firm focused on providing legal counsel to the healthcare industry, Frier Levitt is uniquely positioned to advise our clients on the broad range of issues faced regularly by cosmetic medical practices. In addition, the Frier Levitt medical spa and cosmetic services team has decades of experience advising physicians of all specialties, as well as non-physician providers, and non-licensed providers across the country.
Our medical spa and cosmetic services legal team includes corporate transactional attorneys adept at advising on the preparation of corporate documentation, the sale or purchase of a medical spa/cosmetic medical practice, and the preparation of other legal documents required to run the business such as employment agreements, medical director agreements, or services agreements. The team also includes attorneys focused on regulatory compliance who advise clients on issues such as state specific restrictions on the scope of practice for physician’s assistants, nurse practitioners, advances practice nurses, registered nurses, and estheticians, and the types of medical spa services which may be provided by physicians, non-physician providers, and non-licensed providers (i.e. the types of providers who may legally provide BOTOX, dermal fillers, laser, or hair removal treatments, based on the state the services are being provided in).
While Medical spa services may present an exciting, and potentially lucrative, opportunity for physicians, non-physician providers, and non-licensed providers alike, it is important that anyone entering the medical spa and cosmetic medical services universe do so with caution. Due to the complex, and often state specific requirements regarding what services may be provided, and by whom, it is imperative that all practices offering medical spa services consult with legal counsel regarding the services being provided, and the practice’s arrangements with its providers to avoid potential legal pitfalls and scrutiny from state or federal regulators.
Whether you are considering starting your own medical spa, investing in an existing medical spa, or if you are already involved in the medical spa industry and looking for guidance with respect to the wide array of legal and regulatory issues intertwined with the business and operation of a medical spa, Frier Levitt’s medical spa and cosmetic services team is laser-focused on advising and protecting our clients.
Some of the common issues and legal concerns we assist our medical spa clients with include, but are not limited to:
If you own a medical spa, or are considering investing in, or forming your own cosmetic medical practice, Frier Levitt is ready and able to provide counsel and guidance. If you are interested in obtaining legal advice on a cosmetic or medical spa related legal issue, contact Frier Levitt today and ask to speak to an attorney on the Medical Spa and Cosmetic Services team.
 Medical Spa Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Service (Facial Treatment, Body Shaping & Contouring, Hair Removal, Scar Revision), By Region (North America, Europe, APAC, MEA), And Segment Forecasts, 2019 – 2026