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Massachusetts Summary of State Laws & Regulations
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Massachusetts Frequently Asked Questions


Which procedures at medical spas constitute medical treatment?

Who can own a medical spa?

Can a non-physician own all or part of a medical spa?

If I’m not a doctor, can I employ a “medical director” to provide medical services for my medical spa?

If I'm not a doctor, can I share in the profits of a medical spa?

If I’m not a doctor or a licensed practitioner, how can I make money from a medical spa.

 What are the penalties for improperly owning a medical spa by violating the Corporate Practice of Medicine Doctrine?

I’ve heard that providing gift cards or reward programs in exchange for referrals is a “kickback.” Is this true? What are kickbacks?

a) What are the anti-kickback statutes?

b) What are some examples of prohibited kickbacks and referral arrangements?

c) How do I properly incentivize my staff and patients to bring my med spa more business without engaging in kickbacks?

Can a nurse, physician assistant or nurse practitioner take a commission for administering laser treatments or injectables like Botox?

Can a medical spa pay a person or entity to market the practice’s services?

Do I have to be a doctor to own medical spa equipment, like lasers, or real estate?

Can staff take commissions on non-medical retail products?

Do I need to charge sales tax on procedures like Botox?

Are Botox parties legal?

Who can legally fire a laser under Massachusetts law?

What are laser technicians and can they operate lasers under proper supervision?

Who can legally inject Botox under Massachusetts law?

Does a physician need to be on site during laser and intense pulse light (IPL) devices?

What is a medical assistant? What role do they play in a medical spa?

a) Should a medical assistant be licensed to practice in Massachusetts?

b) What is the legal scope of medical assistants in Massachusetts?

c) Should a medical assistant disclose, while working, his or her name and the practitioner’s license status on a nametag?

d) May medical assistants perform any procedure in a medical spa so long as they are properly supervised?

e) Are medical assistants allowed to pierce the skin?

f) Are medical assistants allowed to administer Botox or inject collagen?

g) Are medical assistants allowed to use lasers or intense light devices to remove hair, scars, moles or other blemishes?

What kind of physician supervision is needed for a registered nurse (RN) in a medical spa?

Can a registered nurse use a laser or intense pulse light device in a medical spa?

Can a med spa hire an aesthetician to perform nonmedical dermabrasion, cosmetic facial and skin treatments?

Does a physician have to examine every new patient before the patient is treated at a med spa?

What about nurse practitioners and physician assistants? Can they see new patients or must a physician do it?

Does a medical spa need to obtain a license to operate?

Can a medical spa advertise its professional services?

a) How should a medical practice advertise its prices?

b) Can a medical spa include testimonials and endorsements by actual patients or models in its advertising?

c) Does a physician have to use his or her name in advertisements?

Can a medical spa offer discounts through Groupon or other similar social networking websites?

What type of records are medical spas required to keep of their patients?

When is a physician-patient relationship needed? How is it established? Is a physician-patient relationship established by a consultation?

What is informed consent?

a) Do all medical procedures require informed consent?

b) What information must a physician disclose to satisfy informed consent?

Can a med spa text or email patients to convey confidential medical information?

If a patient posted a message or a review on a medical spa’s social media page, can and how should the medical spa respond?

What is OSHA and does it apply to medical spas?

What is HIPAA?

Does Massachusetts have its own version of HIPAA? How does it differ?

What is a DEA Registration Number?

What is the FDA and what do they do?

Is it legal to purchase drugs like Botox and fillers from overseas? From Canada, Europe, or Asia?

Can a chiropractor or dentist serve as a medical director?

Who can legally perform the following treatments: microneedling; lasers/light-emitting devices; dermaplaning; Coolsculpting; permanent makeup?


Disclaimer: The information and answers contained in these frequently asked questions provide a general guide to certain laws that apply to "medical spas” in this particular state. The information contained on this site is for general reference only and accuracy cannot be guaranteed, as medical spa legalities and regulations change very frequently. This information is not intended to provide legal advice, and it should not be relied upon as legal advice. This information is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. Readers: You should not act upon this information without seeking knowledgeable legal counsel that takes the laws of your jurisdiction into account. All uses of the content of this site, other than personal uses, are prohibited.

Which procedures at medical spas constitute medical treatment?

Medical spas were developed to offer certain aesthetic skin care procedures...

Read more>>

Who can own a medical spa?

"Under Massachusetts law, a licensed...

Read more>>

Can a non-physician own all or part of a medical spa?

Massachusetts law requires that a...

Read more>>

If I’m not a doctor, can I employ a “medical director” to provide medical services for my medical spa?

If a non-professional business entity owned by non-physicians employs a medical director...

Read more>>

If I'm not a doctor, can I share in the profits of a medical spa?

Non-physicians may be able to share in the revenues of a medical spa through...

Read more>>

If I’m not a doctor or a licensed practitioner, how can I make money from a medical spa?

Non-physicians (including MSOs) may make money from a medical spa through...

Read more>>

What are the penalties for improperly owning a medical spa by violating the Corporate Practice of Medicine Doctrine?

An unlicensed person or entity that violates the ban on the corporate practice of medicine...

Read more>>

I’ve heard that providing gift cards or reward programs in exchange for referrals is a “kickback.” Is this true? What are kickbacks?

Under Massachusetts law it is considered a “kickback” to...

Read more>>

a) What are the anti-kickback statutes?

The anti-kickback statutes are laws that prohibit a physician or medical spa from...

Read more>>

b) What are some examples of prohibited kickbacks and referral arrangements?

Some examples of prohibited kickbacks are...

Read more>>

c) How do I properly incentivize my staff and patients to bring my med spa more business without engaging in kickbacks?

It is perfectly allowable to provide...

Read more>>

Can a nurse, physician assistant or nurse practitioner take a commission for administering laser treatments or injectables like Botox?

A physician, nurse, physician assistant (PA), or nurse practitioner (NP) may be...

Read more>>

Can a medical spa pay a person or entity to market the practice’s services?

A medical spa may employ and provide compensation to...

Read more>>

Do I have to be a doctor to own medical spa equipment, like lasers, or real estate?

An unlicensed person or entity may own...

Read more>>

Can staff take commissions on non-medical retail products?

As long as the retail products are not...

Read more>>

Do I need to charge sales tax on procedures like Botox?

The Massachusetts Department of Revenue has...

Read more>>

Are Botox parties legal?

While Botox parties are not illegal, they are...

Read more>>

Who can legally fire a laser under Massachusetts law?

"The use of a laser in Massachusetts is considered to be a...

Read more>>

What are laser technicians and can they operate lasers under proper supervision?

"Massachusetts does not license laser technicians, and consequently,...

Read more>>

Who can legally inject Botox under Massachusetts law?

"A person who injects Botox for cosmetic purposes is...

Read more>>

Does a physician need to be on site during laser and intense pulse light (IPL) devices?

"Massachusetts does not...

Read more>>

What is a medical assistant? What role do they play in a medical spa?

A medical assistant (MA) is an individual,...

Read more>>

a) Should a medical assistant be licensed to practice in Massachusetts?

Medical assistants are by definition...

Read more>>

b) What is the legal scope of medical assistants in Massachusetts?

MAs generally perform delegated...

Read more>>

c) Should a medical assistant disclose, while working, his or her name and the practitioner’s license status on a nametag?

Massachusetts law requires both PAs...

Read more>>

d) May medical assistants perform any procedure in a medical spa so long as they are properly supervised?

A medical assistant may only provide those services that are...

Read more>>

e) Are medical assistants allowed to pierce the skin?

Medical assistants may only pierce the skin to...

Read more>>

f) Are medical assistants allowed to administer Botox or inject collagen?

MAs generally perform delegated...

Read more>>

g) Are medical assistants allowed to use lasers or intense light devices to remove hair, scars, moles or other blemishes?

MAs generally perform delegated...

Read more>>

What kind of physician supervision is needed for a registered nurse (RN) in a medical spa?

"While some procedures do require supervision, registered nurses in Massachusetts are...

Read more>>

Can a registered nurse use a laser or intense pulse light device in a medical spa?

The Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing has stated that RNs and LPNs...

Read more>>

Can a med spa hire an aesthetician to perform nonmedical dermabrasion, cosmetic facial and skin treatments?

Medical spas can hire licensed...

Read more>>

Does a physician have to examine every new patient before the patient is treated at a med spa?

A physician is required to conduct an appropriate...

Read more>>

What about nurse practitioners and physician assistants? Can they see new patients or must a physician do it?

A physician is required to conduct an appropriate...

Read more>>

Does a medical spa need to obtain a license to operate?

A medical spa is considered to be a...

Read more>>

Can a medical spa advertise its professional services?

A medical spa may advertise, so long as the advertisements...

Read more>>

a) How should a medical practice advertise its prices?

Any price in advertisements should be...

Read more>>

b) Can a medical spa include testimonials and endorsements by actual patients or models in its advertising?

Generally a medical spa can include testimonials and endorsements by...

Read more>>

c) Does a physician have to use his or her name in advertisements?

A physician...

Read more>>

Can a medical spa offer discounts through Groupon or other similar social networking websites?

Although Massachusetts has yet to explicitly address...

Read more>>

What type of records are medical spas required to keep of their patients?

Medical spas are medical practices and therefore all...

Read more>>

When is a physician-patient relationship needed? How is it established? Is a physician-patient relationship established by a consultation?

The physician-patient relationship is...

Read more>>

What is informed consent?

Informed consent from a patient is premised on the belief that a...

Read more>>

a) Do all medical procedures require informed consent?

Simple and common procedures like a typical...

Read more>>

b) What information must a physician disclose to satisfy informed consent?

A physician must disclose all significant...

Read more>>

Can a med spa text or email patients to convey confidential medical information?

HIPAA allows covered health care providers to...

Read more>>

If a patient posted a message or a review on a medical spa’s social media page, can and how should the medical spa respond?

When communicating on social media, a medical spa should...

Read more>>

What is OSHA and does it apply to medical spas?

OSHA is a federal organization...

Read more>>

What is HIPAA?

HIPAA is federal law that aims to...

Read more>>

Does Massachusetts have its own version of HIPAA? How does it differ?

Massachusetts' statutes contain a set...

Read more>>

What is a DEA Registration Number?

A DEA registration number is a number assigned to a...

Read more>>

What is the FDA and what do they do?

The FDA is a regulatory agency that protects...

Read more>>

Is it legal to purchase drugs like Botox and fillers from overseas? From Canada, Europe, or Asia?

While food, drugs, and medical devices are increasingly being...

Read more>>

Can a chiropractor or dentist serve as a medical director?

The term "medical director" implies...

Read more>>

Who can legally perform the following treatments: microneedling; lasers/light-emitting devices; dermaplaning; Coolsculpting; permanent makeup?

"Micro needling, intense pulse light devices, dermabrasion...

Read more>>


Disclaimer: The information and answers contained in these frequently asked questions provide a general guide to certain laws that apply to "medical spas” in this particular state. The information contained on this site is for general reference only and accuracy cannot be guaranteed, as medical spa legalities and regulations change very frequently. This information is not intended to provide legal advice, and it should not be relied upon as legal advice. This information is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. Readers: You should not act upon this information without seeking knowledgeable legal counsel that takes the laws of your jurisdiction into account. All uses of the content of this site, other than personal uses, are prohibited.
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