How to Legally Own a Medical Spa

For medical professionals and entrepreneurs looking to start a medical spa business, it can be difficult to find the legal requirements. However, there are two important caveats to keep in mind if a doctor plans to open a medical spa within their office. First, if you're not a dermatologist or plastic surgeon, check with your malpractice insurance company to ensure coverage. Generally, the insurance company will require training documentation before signing up for the practice.

Second, always treat the encounter as a medical procedure and keep notes of medical progress. An MSO (Management Services Organization) acts as the owner of the medical practice; they charge the doctor or the physician-owned corporation a fee to operate in their space and maintain the facilities to their liking. To reap the benefits of these liability protections, it is crucial that the MSO and medical practice are properly formed and that the MSA (Management Services Agreement) is carefully drafted. Get an attorney to help you navigate federal, state, and local regulations affecting your medical spa.

Office of Medical Conduct (OPMC) regulators, for example, are unlikely to waive the requirement to maintain an accurate record, even if the treatment is legally allowed to be performed by a layperson. Therefore, if you are considering opening a medical spa, it is essential that you ensure that you meet all relevant requirements and that your management services agreement accurately reflects your agreement. Some entrepreneurs, whether they are unaware of the rules or are unwilling to follow them, open medspas that violate the corporate practice of medicine. Under this legal doctrine, only a doctor or a corporation owned by a doctor can own a medical facility.

For example, Florida and New York have provided more specific information on the medical spa guidelines due to their growing number of regulated medical spas and numerous differences among other states respectively. There will be signs and statements in the literature and the Aesthetics website that all medical procedures are performed by the PC (Physician Corporation). Just because spa services are offered within a medical practice does not mean that the doctor can delegate any procedure to anyone. When you consider that any error in the way you establish an MSO, operate the medical spa, or form agreements between the MSO and the doctor or physician-owned entity could end the career of everyone involved, it's easy to understand why it's worth investing to do everything “by the rules”.

Not surprisingly, many non-medical businessmen and healthcare professionals see an opportunity in medical spa ownership but aren't sure how to proceed.So what does this mean in practical terms? While New York has not provided explicit guidance in this area, other states have used and have used the stratum corneum layer of skin as the defining boundary between medical and non-medical procedures. Vacuuming before injecting dermal filler is not a technique used universally in medical aesthetics.

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