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New York Summary of State Laws & Regulations
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New York

New York
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 New York law?

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

Who can legally inject Botox under New York 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 New York?

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

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 New York 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?

In New York ...

Read more>>

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

In New York ...

Read more>>

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

A business owned by a non-physician ...

Read more>>

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

Non-physicians (including MSOs) may ...

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 ...

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 New York law, kickbacks are ...

Read more>>

a) What are the anti-kickback statutes?

There are federal and state anti-kickback statutes....

Read more>>

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

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?

In New York ...

Read more>>

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

A nurse, physician assistant, or nurse practitioner ...

Read more>>

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

New York law ...

Read more>>

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

An unlicensed person ...

Read more>>

Can staff take commissions on non-medical retail products?

In New York ...

Read more>>

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

Prescription and nonprescription medicines, drugs, and medical devices are ...

Read more>>

Are Botox parties legal?

New York law does not ...

Read more>>

Who can legally fire a laser under New York law?

"New York considers the firing of lasers ...

Read more>>

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

New York does not ...

Read more>>

Who can legally inject Botox under New York law?

In New York, there are ...

Read more>>

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

During any laser or IPL use ...

Read more>>

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

A medical assistant (MA) is ...

Read more>>

a) Should a medical assistant be licensed to practice in New York?

Medical assistants are ...

Read more>>

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

"In New York, MAs, or other ...

Read more>>

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

New York does ...

Read more>>

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

MAs may undertake ...

Read more>>

e) Are medical assistants allowed to pierce the skin?

Medical assistants may ...

Read more>>

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

The injection of Botox, collagen, or ...

Read more>>

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

Medical assistants are ...

Read more>>

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

Registered nurses require ...

Read more>>

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

In New York ...

Read more>>

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

Medical spas can ...

Read more>>

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

A physician is ...

Read more>>

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

A PA or ARNP ...

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?

In New York ...

Read more>>

a) How should a medical practice advertise its prices?

Any advertisement that ...

Read more>>

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

Advertising or soliciting that is ...

Read more>>

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

A physician should ...

Read more>>

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

New York has ...

Read more>>

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

Medical spas are ...

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 ...

Read more>>

a) Do all medical procedures require informed consent?

Simple and common procedures ...

Read more>>

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

A physician must disclose ...

Read more>>

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

HIPAA allows covered health care providers ...

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?

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, (OSHA), is a ...

Read more>>

What is HIPAA?

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) is federal law that ...

Read more>>

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

"New York's laws governing the protection of personal information is ...

Read more>>

What is a DEA Registration Number?

A DEA registration number is a ...

Read more>>

What is the FDA and what do they do?

The FDA is a regulatory agency that protects the ...

Read more>>

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

Food, drugs, and medical devices are increasingly being imported ...

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?

Microneedling, Laser or intense pulse light devices, dermabrasian that ...

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.

Summary updated May 2017

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