By Alex R. Thiersch, JD, CEO of the American Med Spa Association (AmSpa)
Hi everyone! I wanted to take a quick second and address the American Med Spa Association’s (AmSpa’s) new Guidelines for Non-surgical Medical Practices (Medical Spas), which were released today, as well as some of the inaccurate statements that have been passed around relative to AmSpa’s Model Rule for Med Spas that we are working on with the Texas legislature. I’ve been forwarded some statements and comments from a lobbyist in Texas that, unfortunately, do not accurately state what AmSpa’s recommended legislation says and seem to mischaracterize AmSpa’s intentions with respect to the industry. I’m sure this was unintentional; nevertheless, it’s vital to clear the air. Also, please do not assume anything that you hear about this issue is correct unless you hear it directly from AmSpa.
First, today we have released AmSpa’s Guidelines For Non-surgical Medical Aesthetic Practices (Medical Spas). The team at AmSpa has been working diligently on these for well over a year, and many of you may recall that they were discussed during the Members’ Meeting at Medical Spa Show 2020 in February. These guidelines were developed in conjunction with medical spa owners, physicians, attorneys and a variety of practitioners, including plastic surgeons, dermatologists, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, registered nurses, aestheticians… you name it. The goal of the practice guidelines is to create a unified, consistent set of guidelines that medical aesthetic practices can follow in order to ensure they are operating in a compliant manner. AmSpa is very excited about these guidelines, and I truly believe they will go a long way toward unifying the industry.
The guidelines are essentially a summary of the existing law in the overwhelming majority of states. AmSpa has not tried to change anything drastically, nor are we trying to favor one group over any other. All of you who know AmSpa know that our main goal is safety and compliance; to that end, these guidelines are intended to clarify the basic rules that AmSpa has been espousing for years. Most of these rules are in place already and have been for years, but they are difficult to find. AmSpa’s goal was to gather, summarize and clarify the rules that are already in place so that folks would be able to easily follow them.
The guidelines can be found here. Please review them and let AmSpa know your thoughts.
In addition, as many of you know, AmSpa is actively involved in introducing medical spa legislation in Texas. This legislation, which has not yet been published because it is being reviewed by the legislative drafters of the state legislature, seeks to codify a set of rules that mirror the practice guidelines. The Texas legislation will be published as soon as we are able to do so. We were asked by the lobbyist for the Texas Med Spa Association to provide a copy of the bill, but not being able to do so, she was provided an early copy of our practice guidelines. These are very similar and form the basis for the Texas legislation.
A few things need to be mentioned about the Texas legislation (which, again, will be released for public viewing as soon as possible):
- No ownership issues in Texas are addressed. We believe that each state should determine its own medical ownership laws, as these laws impact far more than the medical aesthetics industry. It is our view that the corporate practice of medicine is firmly established in Texas and generally prevents anyone other than doctors from owning medical spas, but AmSpa does not take any position on ownership in our bill. I’m not sure where that came from, but any claim to the contrary is just not true.
- The remainder of the legislation merely codifies, unifies, and simplifies the laws that are already in place in Texas, while making some additional recommendations that, AmSpa believes, go to the heart of the safety and compliance of the industry. None of this is earth-shattering and I promise that most, if not all, of the changes will be supported by all of you. Regardless, AmSpa is happy to talk to anyone about them if needed.
AmSpa will be holding a virtual informational meeting about the Guidelines for Non-surgical Medical Aesthetic Practices (Medical Spas) on Wednesday, September 23, at 7 p.m. EDT/6 p.m. CDT/5 p.m. MDT/4 p.m. PDT. To register for this meeting, click here. Also, please send your questions regarding the guidelines to email@example.com no later than Wednesday at 12 p.m. CDT so we can address them during the informational meeting.