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The Med Spa Industry Needs Minimum Standards, and It Needs Your Help to Make It Happen

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, October 10, 2018

By Alex Thiersch, JD, Founder and Director of the American Med Spa Association

AmSpa has been watching the medical aesthetics industry grow for five years, and I’ve personally been involved in compliance issues involving the industry for more than 10 years. In that time, I’ve continually observed a total inconsistency across states and practices regarding who is doing what procedure and the risk that is incurred with that, and it both amazes and disappoints me.

There needs to be some minimum standard that all medical spas follow. The reason I’ve become concerned about this is because, recently, I was interviewed for a story that will be published in the coming weeks, and the author asked a lot of pointed questions about the industry—she wanted to know about people getting injured, unsafe practices, lawsuits, regulations, and so forth; this is the third or fourth time in the past year that these issues have come up. However, I continue to see medical spas that are doing things that they just should not be doing, and it harms the entire industry.

Self-regulation is the only way for the industry to stop this, and AmSpa wants to help lead the way by creating some minimum standards that everyone can buy into. However, the only way this is going to work is if the entire industry buys into it.

One of the reasons I’m bringing this up relates to injectables. We have had an ongoing discussion with aestheticians, medical assistants, and practical nurses—basically everyone who is not an RN or above—about whether or not they should be performing injectable treatments. Most states basically allow doctors to delegate these treatments to whomever they want, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that aestheticians should be injecting. 

In fact, my law firm, ByrdAdatto, and AmSpa have been steadfast in the opinion that only nurses and above should be performing these procedures, and we think that needs to become a rule. If patients get injured because non-licensed professionals are performing erroneous procedures, the industry is going to be legislated out of existence.

It is my strong belief that if the industry regulates and sets minimum rules, the industry will become bigger, because it will create standards and safety, and end the particularly egregious accidents that are happening.

To that end, I am happy to announce that AmSpa is embarking on a project to create minimum standards, including, but not limited to items such as:

Who can perform certain treatments;
Training standards; 
Ownership standards; and 
Supervisory requirements. 

However, it is only going to go so far unless practices get on board with regulation. There can’t continue to be stories of people getting injured and medical spas being shut down because they are not following proper medical protocols. All this has got to stop. Until it does, this industry is only going to go so far, and possibly could even go in the opposite direction.

If you think this can’t happen, look at the National Football League, which is going through a major shift because people are finally beginning to realize how dangerous the game is due to emerging stories about the effects of chronic traumatic encephalopathy. More and more parents are not allowing their children to play football, and who knows what will happen to the game in 20 years.

We’re asking for everyone’s help with this initiative. It’s not only important—it’s crucial. I sense there is blood in the water when it comes to media coverage of the medical aesthetics industry, because we’re getting contacted more and more often by reporters and authors who are working on negative stories, and industry professionals have got to do whatever they can to protect themselves.


Stay tuned for information in the coming months regarding standards in the medical spa industry.

Tags:  Business and Financials  Med Spa Law 

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Comments on this post...

Jodie Uhlemeyer says...
Posted Wednesday, October 10, 2018
In our practice only licensed NP or Dr. can do any kind of injections.
Lasers the Dr. can delegate however, we have extremely strict guidelines in our office. Our medical assistants are assigned to one or two laser's their job is to master it. They have to be certified on that laser they are in charge of and it must be posted in the procedure room and consult room. They have to be able to perform treatment on the Doctor and myself (practice manager) monthly at any time we chose. They also have a quiz over the laser, maintenance, and all safety aspects of the laser. The Dr. MUST be in the office in order for any laser to be used. At anytime we feel the MA is not taking this job serious. The MA will be removed from the laser. No questions!! It is the Doctor's license on the line, if they can not resect his license they do not need to be using any laser's period. My job is to protect his license, without his license none of us will have jobs..
I believe everyone should look at it in that light. When I pointed this out to my employees they took a different outlook on the office.. No Doctor NO job!! That simple!!!!
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