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Join AmSpa at the Chicago Medical Spa & Aesthetic Boot Camp

Posted By Administration, Friday, May 3, 2019

chicago boot camp

By Alex R. Thiersch, JD, CEO of the American Med Spa Association (AmSpa)

Starting tomorrow, AmSpa will host its Chicago Medical Spa & Aesthetic Boot Camp at the Chicago Marriott Southwest at Burr Ridge, and we’re extremely excited for the opportunity to help medical aesthetic professionals develop their practices. There's still time to register for the event—just click here to sign up. Here’s a quick overview of the program:

Saturday, May 4

The Boot Camp begins at 8 a.m. with a continental breakfast, followed at 8:30 a.m. with my opening keynote. From there, we will move into the main program:

  • 9 – 10:30 a.m.: The Plan, presented by Bryan Durocher (Durocher Enterprises)—What are the most effective ways to develop a business plan for your medical spa? Medical Spa Consultant Bryan Durocher discusses the ins and outs of the planning process and helps determine how long it realistically takes to open a practice.
  • 11 a.m. – 12 p.m.: The Marketing Plan and Social Media, presented by Brandon and Jenny Robinson (Skin Body Soul MedSpa)—This session will help you determine how to most effectively market your medical aesthetic practice using both traditional methods and cutting-edge techniques.
  • 1 – 1:30 p.m.: Medical Aesthetic Hot Topics Panel, featuring Tim Sawyer (Crystal Clear Digital Marketing) and Nealy Skeldon (Environ Skincare)—This panel, moderated by yours truly, will feature a spirited discussion of the current issues and events that concern medical spa owners and operators.
  • 1:30 – 3:30 p.m.: The Law, presented by Alex Thiersch (AmSpa) and Renee E. Coover (ByrdAdatto)—In this presentation, we’ll discuss the long-standing and emerging legal issues that every medical spa owner needs to know about. As you can imagine, there is a lot to cover here, since new concerns seem to be arising daily lately.
  • 4:15 – 5 p.m.: The Treatments, presented by Terri Ross (Terri Ross Consulting)—Learn about the most profitable and popular treatments available to your practice, and find out how to best determine which treatments are right for you based on the state of your practice.
  • 5 – 6 p.m.: The Digital Marketing Ecosystem, presented by Tim Sawyer (Crystal Clear Digital Marketing)—Find out how to effectively spread the word about your medical aesthetic practice and how best to determine what’s working and what’s not. Your practice’s digital presence is more important than ever before, and curating it should be a top priority.

Saturday will wrap up with a cocktail reception from 6 – 7:30 p.m.

Sunday, May 5

Once again, the Boot Camp begins at 8 a.m. with a continental breakfast.

  • 8:30 – 9 a.m.: Anatomy of a $5-Million Med Spa, presented by Alex Thiersch (AmSpa)—Have you ever wondered what the difference is between your medical spa and one that’s mega-successful? It might be less significant than you think. This presentation will show what a $5-million med spa is doing right—and what you might be doing wrong.
  • 9 – 10 a.m.: The Financials, presented by Bryan Durocher (Durocher Enterprises)—At the end of the day, the money you’re bringing in is the most important measure of your practice’s success. This presentation will, among other things, demonstrate how to properly develop a budget and use metrics to determine your med spa’s strengths and weaknesses.
  • 10:45 – 11:15 a.m.: The Long-term Revenue, presented by Brandon and Jenny Robinson (Skin Body Soul MedSpa)—Simply being successful isn’t enough for a medical aesthetic practice; you have to know how to maintain and grow your success. In this session, the Robinsons will show you how to build patient loyalty and move your business forward.
  • 11:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.: The Consultation, presented by Terri Ross (Terri Ross Consulting)—As the old saying goes, you never get a second chance to make a first impression. Learn how to put your best foot forward with effective patient consultations—and how to turn them into consistent business.
  • 1 – 2 p.m.: The Lessons, presented by Louis Frisina—Every medical spa is different, but the successful ones share several common traits. In this session, Business Strategy Consultant Louis Frisina discusses the qualities that are typically found in practices that bring in a significant amount of revenue.
  • 2 – 3 p.m.: The Team, presented by Bryan Durocher (Durocher Enterprises)—A medical spa is only as good as its personnel, so it’s important to make sure that you hire a staff that can do everything you want it to—and more. In this session, you’ll learn about recruiting, hiring and retaining employees who can make your medical spa dreams come true.

Also, you’ll have the chance to visit with a number of exceptional vendors throughout this event. Attend the Chicago Medical Spa Boot Camp to check out the latest and greatest from the following companies:

We hope you can join us in Chicago this weekend. This AmSpa Boot Camp is a tremendous opportunity to get your medical aesthetic business headed in the right direction and learn some tips and tricks that can take it to the next level. Click here to register!

Tags:  AmSpa's Med Spa & Aesthetic Boot Camps  Business and Financials  Med Spa Law  Med Spa Ownership  Med Spa Trends 

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Payment Options for Maximizing Your Med Spa Guests' Treatments

Posted By Mike Meyer, Thursday, May 2, 2019
Updated: Tuesday, May 7, 2019

credit online shopping

By Karen Zupko, on behalf of CareCredit

Help grow your business by promoting available payment options. Present patients with choices at multiple points in the sales process, and offer additional ways to pay for treatments. By doing so, you may increase the chance that they use one of these methods to experience more services and schedule more frequent visits.

Here are five simple solutions to promote patient financing as a payment option:

  1. Put a button in multiple places on your website. Link visitors to information as well as an online application, and post the button in multiple locations—not just the home page. Think about creating a financing or payment tab to show the options you have available.
  2. Include a short sentence in all email responses to website inquiries. Keep it simple; for example, "We offer convenient payment options—click here to learn more."
  3. When scheduling new patient consultations, explain that you offer a payment option with promotional financing. Train staff to direct patients to apply on your website prior to the appointment. A service-oriented way to explain this could be, "That way, when you decide to schedule that peel, if you’re approved you’re all set to use patient financing options…”
  4. Remind patients about payment options in conjunction with a special offer. For example, if you promote Kybella in an e-blast, mention your patient financing options as an available payment option underneath the special fee. “Ask about payment options that can be used with this special offer.”
  5. Encourage patients to apply when they check-in for their first appointment. For example, “While you are waiting for your CoolSculpting treatment, you can apply for patient financing. You will know the credit decision in seconds.” Make the client's experience simple—hand him or her an iPad with the browser open to your website and touch the “Apply Now” button for them to open the application.

These patient financing tips have been provided by Karen Zupko on behalf of CareCredit. Zupko is president of Karen Zupko & Associates, Inc. She has been advising aesthetic practices about marketing and management for more than 30 years.

CareCredit is a health, wellness and beauty care credit card dedicated to helping people get the care they want and need. With CareCredit, your guests can move forward with your treatment recommendations to look and feel their best*. CareCredit offers promotional financing options to provide your patients a convenient way to fit beauty into their monthly budget. CareCredit is accepted at more than 210,000 locations for a wide variety of health and wellness procedures, treatments and skin care products.

Amspa members receive 20% off promotional financing merchant fees.1 Click here to learn more.

* Subject to credit approval
1 On purchases of $200+

Tags:  Business and Financials  Guest Post 

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Unsafe Practices by New Mexico Aesthetician Lead to Second HIV Infection

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, May 1, 2019

needle

By Alex R. Thiersch, JD, CEO of the American Med Spa Association (AmSpa), and Patrick O’Brien, JD, legal coordinator for the American Med Spa Association

According to the New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH), vampire facials administered at VIP Spa in Albuquerque have caused the transmission of the HIV virus to at least two customers. The spa, which was operated by an aesthetician, was shut down in September 2018 after an inspection found that needles were being improperly handled and disposed of, creating the possibility of the transmission of bloodborne diseases. NMDOH is offering free blood testing services and counseling to the spa’s former clients.

Vampire facials involve the extraction of the patient’s blood, the centrifugal separation of plasma from the blood, and then the reinjection of the plasma into the face with microneedling equipment in order to stimulate collagen production. The procedure has gained popularity in recent years thanks to the influence of Kim Kardashian, who posted images of herself experiencing the treatment to her Instagram in 2013, but later stated that she regretted undergoing it and that it was extremely painful.

Obviously, this sort of procedure presents numerous avenues through which contamination can occur. In New Mexico, drawing blood and performing microneedling are both considered to be medical procedures and must be performed by an appropriately trained and skilled person under the supervision of a physician or nurse practitioner, including physician assistants either in collaboration with or under supervision of a physician, registered nurses, licensed practical nurses and trained medical assistants. Aestheticians, such as the person who operated VIP Spa, are not licensed to perform or provide oversight for these procedures.

The medical aesthetics industry is thriving, but this is exactly the sort of thing that could kill it. All over the country, unqualified people are doing things they shouldn't be doing, not following the rules or being safe, and potentially causing incredibly serious health issues and even deaths, such as in this recently publicized case of plastic surgery practices in South Florida that have caused the deaths of at least 13 people. Situations such as these are exposing the seamy underbelly of the industry, and while legislators struggle to catch up with the issues that are emerging, compliant providers may well get caught up in any kind of blowback that results from incidents such as these.

As we’ve discussed here before, we have to do better. AmSpa is currently working to develop a set of standards that will help the medical aesthetic industry govern itself and provide patients with reliably safe, satisfying treatment experiences. Stay tuned to this space to learn more about this effort and what you can do to participate.

Medical spa clients shouldn’t have to worry about contracting life-shortening illnesses or even dying as a result of their aesthetic treatments, but if stories such as these continue to emerge, that’s exactly what will happen. People may decide that they are more afraid of running into bad actors than they are desirous of looking and feeling their best, and if that happens, it’s the death knell of the industry. We have to prevent this at all costs, and we hope widespread adoption of these standards can help accomplish this.

Tags:  Compliance is Cool  Med Spa Law  Med Spa Ownership  Med Spa Trends 

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The Legalities of Body Sculpting

Posted By Administration, Monday, April 29, 2019

cryolipolysis

By Alex R. Thiersch, JD, CEO of the American Med Spa Association (AmSpa)

Body sculpting is one of the truly hot trends in the medical aesthetics industry. It is administered by applying either extreme cold or extreme heat to fat, which causes the fat to break down and die, after which it exits the body via natural processes. It has proven to be very effective in removing relatively small fat deposits from hard-to-address areas of the body. CoolSculpting is the industry leader for this type of therapy, so much so that its name has became virtually synonymous with cryolipolysis, the “cold” variant of this treatment. SculpSure is another popular body sculpting treatment—it uses lasers to kill fatty tissue. In addition, several other companies now provide similar products and services.

Despite the popularity of these treatments, though, some questions still exist regarding who can perform them. Cryolipolysis treatments, especially, are somewhat tricky in this regard, because they don’t use light-emitting devices or lasers, so it falls into a grey area where a lot of the existing laser statutes don’t cover it directly. Cryolipolysis equipment is not a light-emitting device, a laser, or an ultrasound—it simply uses extremely cold temperatures, and the manner by which these temperatures are produced is typically not regulated.

As such, it has been argued that because cryolipolysis does not fall within the scope of the regulations that are currently on the books and therefore is not the practice of medicine. If this is the case, anybody could perform these treatments, provided they were properly trained to do so, and the practice would not need to conduct a face-to-face exam with a licensed medical professional prior to the procedure. In addition, it would obviate certain issues related to payment and processing.

The counterargument to this is that generally, medical boards find that medical treatment occurs when an ailment is diagnosed and living tissue is impacted; every state’s regulations are slightly different, but typically, this is a baseline that is observed practically everywhere, particularly as it relates to aesthetics treatments. It cannot reasonably be argued that cryolipolysis treatment doesn’t meet both of these conditions—an unwanted fat deposit is observed, treated with extreme cold in order to destroy it, and then expelled from the body. This clearly affects living tissue, and so from a legal standpoint, it should be considered a medical treatment. As such, it requires a face-to-face exam and patient history, and it must be performed by a licensed medical professional or delegated to a nurse or technician who is properly trained and supervised.

It is my belief that if this was ever presented to a medical board—it hasn’t been yet, but I’m sure it will be someday—the board would find, without question, that cryolipolysis is the practice of medicine. Medical aesthetics practices that don’t use the same procedures for cryolipolysis that they would for laser treatments are taking a risk, because when you get right down to it, everything that is true about laser treatments is true about cryolipolysis when it comes to the way it affects living tissue.

However, we are not aware of any laws that specifically address cryolipolysis for body-sculpting purposes, and until there is—or until an influential medical board rules on the matter—the grey area will remain at least somewhat grey. We recommend that you speak to an experienced local healthcare attorney regarding his or her interpretation of the regulations in your state that could be applied to this treatment. However, we at AmSpa and ByrdAdatto firmly believe that cryolipolysis falls within the practice of medicine, and that any practice providing this treatment should observe the same procedures regarding patient care that it would with any other medical treatment.

Tags:  Med Spa Law  Med Spa Trends 

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How to Increase Your Med Spa Retail Sales

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, April 24, 2019

retail

By Alex R. Thiersch, JD, CEO of the American Med Spa Association (AmSpa)

Increasing medical spa retail product sales is a fast way to boost the profitability of your medical aesthetic practice. According to the AmSpa 2017 Medical Spa State of the Industry Report, retail products account for 18% of total revenue at the average medical spa. So if you want to make this a larger part of your business, where do you start?

A Perfect Fit

When choosing products, you need to make sure that they not only fit in with the brand direction of your business, but also match the services you offer, since a skin care program can produce good treatment results for your patients. You don’t necessarily need to stop at treatment products, however—a few on-brand retail pieces that don’t require a prescription to buy can help create a fuller experience for your customers. If you fancy yourself a luxury brand or a wellness brand, you should consider dedicating some shelf space to items that reinforce this message.

Too Much Choice

It’s good to have a selection of products in your medical spa, but offering too many options at the same level of treatment can be a detriment. Too many similar choices can leave customers confused and less likely to purchase anything. Selecting a few lines that each have multiple levels of treatment will likely serve you better.

“While selection is important, sometimes it is better to go an inch wide and a mile deep,” said medical spa industry expert Bryan Durocher of Durocher Enterprises.

The Sense in It

Engaging customers through multiple senses can benefit retail sales. Visually interesting displays combined with calming music or scents that match some of your products provide subtle boosts for retail sales.

You also can alter the layout of your space. Do you keep the majority of your products behind a counter or in a locked case? This will impact your sales, since customers like to look at and hold products as they consider buying them. Does your retail area overlap with your waiting room? Think about separating them—“People that sit don’t shop,” Durocher said.

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

Of all the possible points of improvement in retail sales, training your team will give you the biggest benefit, bar none. “How can you expect to improve performance and achieve new results if the team is not held accountable for their actions or performance?” said Dori Soukup of InSPAration Management.

Soukup suggests implementing concrete expectations, measurable goals, sales systems and team coaching when attempting to set up a business for retail success.

“Have a defined client experience that incorporates retail products during the consultation, during service and at the close of the visit,” Durocher said.

It’s also important to offer your team incentives. In most states, you generally cannot pay staff commission for services in a medical spa because of fee-splitting laws, you generally are allowed to pay percent commission on retail product sales.

Selling retail products is a key to increased profitability in medical spas, and if you’re looking to enter the industry, it’s a core principle you should be familiar with.

For more information on ways to build and run a successful, profitable and legally compliant medical spa, attend one of AmSpa’s Medical Spa & Aesthetic Boot Camps and learn how to become the next med spa success story.

Tags:  AmSpa's Med Spa & Aesthetic Boot Camps  Business and Financials  Med Spa Retail 

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Botched Microblading Highlights Regulatory Gap in Missouri

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, April 23, 2019

microblading

By Patrick O’Brien, JD, legal coordinator for the American Med Spa Association

“Hideous” and “crazy” are not terms you ever want associated with your business, so this news article warning of the dangers of microblading performed by unskilled businesses in Missouri is particularly alarming. The poor woman in the article received terribly applied eyebrows that led her to hide her face and spend thousands of dollars to have them corrected. We have previously covered how botched procedures can have a wide impact on the regulation and oversight of industry, and this situation is no different. We’ve seen it in Texas, New York and Florida—bad publicity draws the attention of legislators.

Most states treat microblading as a branch of tattooing and require practitioners to hold either a tattooing license or a more specialized permanent cosmetic license. And generally, these procedures must be done in licensed tattoo parlors. Missouri is unusual in that its Office of Tattooing, Body Piercing & Branding does not consider microblading to fall within the statutory definition of tattooing. Missouri’s definition of tattooing mentions an “indelible mark” that is placed under the skin; because of the depth of typical microblading procedures, they are only considered “semi-permanent.” As a result, microblading in Missouri is largely unregulated. A person does not need to undergo any training or certification before offering the service to the public. And as in the case of the woman in the news article, this can lead to some terrible results that leave lasting damage and cost thousands to correct.

Missouri House of Representatives member Nate Tate has introduced legislation to close this gap. House Bill 71 (HB 71)—which you can read in full here—would simply amend the definition of tattooing to include permanent and semi-permanent pigment being placed for cosmetic purposes in addition to creating designs, as in traditional tattooing. It is unclear if HB 71 has the momentum to pass this year—after being introduced at the beginning of the legislative session, it was referred to the Committee on Registration and Professional Licensing last week. Regardless of whether or not HB 71 ends up passing, all practitioners will want to make sure they are trained and skilled in any procedures they offer.

Tags:  Med Spa Law  Med Spa Trends  Microblading 

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Understanding Informed Consent in Medical Aesthetics

Posted By Administration, Monday, April 22, 2019

informed consent

By Alex R. Thiersch, JD, CEO of the American Med Spa Association (AmSpa)

When patients at medical spas agree to undergo treatments, they are putting their wellbeing into the hands of the physicians who treat them. Because of this, the physicians have a duty to be as transparent and forthcoming about the treatments they provide as possible. They need to tell their patients everything the patients need to know about the procedures they recommend, and they need to make sure that the patients completely understand what is being discussed. This is known as informed consent, and it is extremely important for medical spa owners and operators to understand what is expected of them in order to remain compliant with any laws to which they are subject.

What It Is

Informed consent is a necessary step that a physician needs to take, but it is also a somewhat nebulous concept, from a legal standpoint.

“There’s nothing required to put something in writing, as far as a disclosure,” said Jay Reyero, partner for ByrdAdatto, a Dallas-based healthcare and business law firm. “I think the whole point of informed consent is to demonstrate that the physician or the provider has given the patient all the material information they need to make an informed decision.”

This can often be accomplished verbally, though the patient will need a sign a form stating that the physician has given him or her the information needed to make a sensible decision. However, putting everything in writing is an extra step that, while not necessary, can save a practice some headaches in the future.

“Nothing prevents anyone from putting more information down on paper and being very clear, and I would say that that’s the best-case scenario, because it’s very hard to argue against the fact that someone did disclose something to you if it’s sitting there on a page that you initialed next to or you signed,” Reyero said.

Regardless of how the physician chooses to obtain informed consent, however, making sure the patient actually understands the ins and outs of the procedure is the primary objective.

“The whole point of informed consent is that there’s certain information that a patient needs to be able to make an informed decision as to whether to go through with the procedure or not,” Reyero said. “When we’re talking about informed consent, we’re not just talking about a consent document—it’s more about all the information surrounding what goes into that particular document that they’re signing.”

The physician should convey information about the nature of the procedure, the potential risks and outcomes, and what to expect in the days and weeks following the treatment.

Going Off Label

One might presume that informed consent takes on even greater importance when a physician utilizes pharmaceuticals or devices in ways that are not explicitly approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), also known as off-label use. After all, it stands to reason that a patient would need to know that the drugs being used are not indicated for this particular treatment. However, Reyero says that this actually makes very little difference in the informed consent process.

“Generally speaking, there’s no requirement to disclose that something is being done off-label, primarily because that’s being decided in the professional medical judgment of the physician, and so there’s nothing that specifically requires a physician to say, ‘This is off-label use,’” he said.

However, a meticulous practice may want to include this information when providing informed consent to patients. This level of transparency will never hurt a practice from a legal standpoint, even though certain patients may be more skittish about such things than others.

“There’s nothing that would prohibit someone from taking an added step of saying, yes, we want to create more protection for ourselves, so we’re going to go ahead and disclose that this is off-label use,” Reyero said. “But when you think about what off-label use is, that in and of itself doesn’t necessarily convey anything that’s material to what a patient would want to know to decide whether they should go through with the procedure.”

After all, the fact that the FDA has not approved a particular drug or device for a particular treatment should not necessarily matter, since FDA approval should not be taken to mean that any sort of non-indicated use is dangerous. In fact, board-certified physicians engage in off-label use on a daily basis, and if they are doing it in a conscientious manner, it is perfectly legal for them to do so.

“Off-label use just means that the FDA hasn’t approved this particular drug or this particular device for the particular use that we’re going through,” Reyero said. “It doesn’t pass upon whether that’s safe or not, and so that’s why there’s no specific requirement or duty for a physician to disclose that.”

Trials and Tribulations

On the other hand, if a physician is conducting clinical research and wishes to use a patient as a participant, the informed consent process is vital and must be handled with the utmost care.

“The FDA actually has a fairly comprehensive set of requirements for informed consent with respect to clinical trials or research,” Reyero said. “It’s a much, much more comprehensive discussion. The FDA terms informed consent as being a process. It’s not just saying, ‘Will you participate in this research study?’ It’s talking about what that research study is, and what to expect, and what not to expect, and the things that they could experience, and allowing the person plenty of time to consider the information and to speak with someone. It is much, much, much more comprehensive than your standard medical procedures.”

These guidelines can be found on the FDA’s website. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Human Research Protections also offers a set of tips about obtaining informed consent for doctors conducting clinical research; these can be found here.

“It’s so much more comprehensive than just your standard medical procedure with its informed consent,” Reyero said. “Typically, that is judged based on the disclosure of material information that a reasonable person would want to know, or disclosure of material information that a reasonable physician would think is important for a patient to know.”

Location Location Location

As is often the case with the regulations that govern medical spas, informed consent requirements vary from state to state.

“Every state is different,” Reyero said. “They’re all going to have different informed consent statutes or informed consent laws. If someone feels that a doctor didn’t disclose something or did something wrong, they’re either going to sue them under a non-disclosure-type concept where they didn’t properly give informed consent because the physician didn’t disclose enough information, and that’s where those reasonable standards come in.”

More often, though, patients invoke their states’ negligence statutes, as they typically feel that the physician’s medical judgment did not live up to the standard of care the patient expected. These vary from state to state, so if a medical spa suspects that its physician is not doing enough to obtain informed consent, it needs to review its state’s laws and its current procedures with an experienced healthcare attorney to determine what additional steps need to be taken.

Evolution

Today’s medical spa patients are more concerned than ever before about knowing precisely what is going on with their treatments, so practices and physicians should expect that informed consent regulations will probably evolve to become stricter in the future.

“People out there feel that there should be more information given to patients to make these decisions,” Reyero said. “With healthcare, everything is about patients understanding and everything being transparent, and so there may be something of a push for more disclosures than not.”

Reyero recommends that physicians reveal everything they can to a patient up front, because whether or not they are required to do so, it offers patients peace of mind and offers physicians security from a legal perspective.

“My rule of thumb is always disclose as much as possible, because it can only protect you,” he said. “In reality, when you think about going to a doctor’s office or going to a provider’s office, just because something is two pages as opposed to one doesn’t affect my judgment. ‘I’m going to leave because now you’re having me sign four pages instead of two,’ or ‘I can’t believe they [require you to] sign so many pages; I’m not going to recommend them to my friends’—those aren’t really criteria for people who are selecting healthcare providers. I always say that if you can put more in there and show that you’ve talked with them and disclosed things and given them time to ask questions, you’re only going to better protect yourself in any claim that they did not fully understand what was going on.”

Ultimately, it is a physician’s duty to make sure his or her patients know what they are consenting to. They should be as transparent as possible and be thorough in documenting the fact that they have had those conversations. It will put them in a much better position if there’s some sort of legal entanglement as a result of a bad outcome.

Tags:  Med Spa Law  Med Spa Trends 

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What’s the Difference Between AmSpa Boot Camps and The Medical Spa Show?

Posted By Administration, Friday, April 19, 2019

alex mss

By Alex R. Thiersch, JD, CEO of the American Med Spa Association (AmSpa)

Here at AmSpa, we’re often asked about the difference between our Medical Spa & Aesthetic Boot Camps and The Medical Spa Show, our annual event in Las Vegas. If someone attends a Boot Camp, is it roughly the same thing as attending The Medical Spa Show? How are they similar? How are they different? Here’s a quick look at what makes each one essential for medical aesthetic professionals.

Medical Spa & Aesthetic Boot Camps

AmSpa’s Medical Spa & Aesthetic Boot Camps are two-day training opportunities designed to provide attendees with the information that’s essential to creating a successful medical aesthetic practice. These events focus on knowledge that all medical spa owners and operators need, particularly when they are just opening their practices. At Boot Camps, the focus is on issues of compliance, marketing and operations, and as the name suggests, they’re intense educational experiences.

And while Boot Camps do feature a select group of vendors demonstrating their latest and greatest products and services, they are not trade shows, as the primary focus is on education. AmSpa offers several Boot Camps per year all over the U.S.—we try to hit as wide a variety of locations as possible, so that if you want to attend a Boot Camp, you can hopefully make it to one without too much trouble. Click here to see all the upcoming Boot Camps on the AmSpa schedule.

The Medical Spa Show

The Medical Spa Show, meanwhile, is a conference and exposition that features a wide variety of vendors and numerous educational opportunities. Held annually in Las Vegas, this show is much more in line with what one would typically consider to be a trade show.

The Medical Spa Show presents a different type of education than what is presented at Boot Camps. Instead of one general-interest educational agenda in which all attendees participate, The Medical Spa Show features four concurrent tracks of educational opportunities that dig deep into more specific topics; in 2019, the four tracks were Business, Clinical, Legal and Sponsored Education. Within each track is a variety of 30-to-90-minute sessions that focus on trends, techniques and technology, and attendees can create their own schedules based on their needs and interests.

What’s more, The Medical Spa Show provides a much larger selection of vendors than Boot Camps, and the vendors have more time and space to provide attendees with information about and demonstrations of their products and services. So if you’re in the market for a new piece of equipment or want to see new software in action, there’s a very good chance you’ll find what you’re looking for at The Medical Spa Show. Keep an eye on this space for more information about the 2020 convention and expo when it is released.

Both the Medical Spa & Aesthetic Boot Camps and The Medical Spa Show offer attendees a great deal, but they are very different in form and function. We are extremely proud of both, and we hope you can join us at one or both in the near future.

Tags:  AmSpa's Med Spa & Aesthetic Boot Camps  Med Spa Trends  The Medical Spa Show 2019 

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How to Create an Effective MSA

Posted By Administration, Thursday, April 18, 2019

By Michael S. Byrd, JD, partner, ByrdAdatto

Performance of a car may be best measured by the engine, not the outer workings. A monitor or program does not deliver performance for a computer; that is found in the hardware. One must dig beneath the surface to find the source of performance. The same may be said about the management services agreement (MSA) for the management services organization (MSO) model commonly deployed in health care arrangements. The arrangement performs by the design of the MSA.

The MSO is the tried and true model for non-physicians to own a business in the medical services market. Alex Thiersch, partner at ByrdAdatto and CEO of the American Med Spa Association, published an article about unpacking MSOs. ByrdAdatto also published an article about nuances that may impact the design of the MSO model. We’ve even written an article about the influx of private equity into the medical and dental markets and the use of the MSO model for these investments.

Yet, to truly understand the essence of the MSO model, like the engine of the car or the hardware for computer, you must understand the MSA. The MSA defines the relationship between the medical entity providing medical services and the MSO entity providing management services. The importance of the MSA can be seen by the essential components of the arrangement that are defined in the MSA:

  • The flow of funds from patient encounter to profit;
  • The economic sharing of funds between the medical practice and the MSO entity;
  • The precise services to be provided by the MSO entity to the medical entity;
  • The separation of clinical responsibility to the medical entity in a way that complies with state regulations; and
  • The role of the physician often found in a medical director agreement (123s of a Medical Director).

A well-written MSA should look approximately 80% the same as another well-written MSA in another arrangement. This 80% should define boundaries from a compliance perspective, and hopefully it’s tailored in a way to work from one arrangement to the other. The other 20% deals with the heavy details of the particular arrangement. The 20% addresses the economics between the parties, as well as the roles and responsibilities of the physician providers, the use of space, the payment of personnel and the use of equipment.

The number one mistake with MSAs is for clients to grab onto a previously used MSA or, even worse, an MSA used by a colleague to memorialize their arrangement. The risk is obvious from a business perspective if the MSA flow of funds does not match the business plan. However, if the MSA does not reflect the reality of how the arrangement is functioning, the greater risk becomes one of compliance violations and the risk of enforcement that may lead to invalid arrangements, medical board sanctions, and, in some cases, arrests and criminal prosecution.

The greatest risk for using a faulty engine for a car or faulty hardware for a computer is economic loss. The greatest risk for using a faulty MSA is economic loss and compliance enforcement.

For more information on setting up a compliant MSA, please contact ByrdAdatto to schedule a consult.

With his background as both a litigator and transactional attorney, Michael Byrd brings a comprehensive perspective to business and health care issues. He has been named to Texas Rising Stars and Texas Super Lawyers, published by Thompson Reuters, for multiple years (2009-2018) and recognized as a Best Lawyer in Dallas by D Magazine (2013, 2016, 2017, 2018). He routinely lectures at continuing medical education seminars on the various business and legal issues that medical professionals face.

Tags:  Business and Financials  Med Spa Law  Med Spa Ownership  Med Spa Trends 

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The Ins and Outs of Physician Contracts

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, April 17, 2019

contract

By Alex R. Thiersch, JD, CEO of the American Med Spa Association (AmSpa)

An effective employment contract between a medical practice and a physician should be a win-win for the employer and employee. If one or both sides don’t approach the negotiation in a thoughtful manner, they could find themselves disappointed with the outcome. Here are a few features that should be included in a mutually beneficial contract.

(For more information on medical spa employment contracts, view AmSpa’s webinar on the topic; it is free to AmSpa Plus members.)

Goals

A practice should consider what it wants to accomplish with a contract with a physician. Does it need to fill a position? Does it want to provide service to more patients? Is a transition of ownership part of the equation? The answer to this can dictate the type of person the practice wants to recruit (i.e., a younger doctor versus a more experienced one) and affect the way the employment agreement is designed. If a physician who has entrepreneurial aspirations is hired to simply tend to patients, for example, neither side will be particularly happy, and the relationship likely will not last very long.

The practice’s intentions must be clearly communicated during the recruitment process, and the contract must be built around that philosophy.

Along the same lines, a physician must honestly evaluate his or her goals when negotiating a contract with a medical spa. These contracts typically last for one to two years, but both sides typically expect that the relationship will continue thereafter, so a physician must come to terms with his or her long-term plan. Is this where he or she wants to forge a career? This should influence how the contract is negotiated.

The physician also needs to consider a “plan B”—if this arrangement does not work out, how does he or she continue his or her career? The answer to this question heavily influences how the contract is evaluated. For example, if the physician wants to put down roots in the city where the practice is located but the contract has a restrictive non-compete clause, it is in his or her best interest to negotiate the terms of that clause, as it would severely restrict his or her options if it the relationship with the medical spa does not work out. Click here to learn more about non-compete and non-solicitation clauses.

Compensation

A medical spa needs to balance the practice’s economics, the risk tolerance of its owners, and salary expectations in its market when negotiating a contract. A competitive guaranteed base salary with some form of incentive-based bonus system can help secure top talent who might be considering other options. There are several ways this can be arranged, depending on what the physician prefers.

The physician, on the other hand, must understand his or her risk tolerance. While a high base/low bonus structure might appeal to some, others will want to pursue a low base/high bonus structure. The physician must determine his or her comfort level with the contract’s salary structure—if it is not optimal, it must be negotiated.

The physician also must be rational when determining his or her actual earning power. If the market does not offer enough potential business to justify taking a low base/high bonus salary, the physician should seek a different deal.

Ownership

The practice must determine what it wants to accomplish in terms of ownership with the hire, as it will affect everything from scheduling and coordination to top-level decision-making. The practice’s owner(s) also must consider if the hiring should be part of their exit strategy; if so, the contract must be created with that in mind.

The physician, meanwhile, must determine how he or she would build the practice and determine how the practice’s ancillary revenue streams compare to those offered by others. Ownership offers different appearances for different entities, so the physician must establish what he or she wants and what the practice can provide. What is the investment? What is the potential return? What is the risk? The contract should answer all these questions.

Creating a mutually beneficial contract is a complicated matter. Both sides must assess the risks and rewards, and they must also be willing to compromise on less pressing matters. A careful reading of a contract is a must, however—if both sides don’t thoroughly read the contract, they have nobody to blame but themselves if it doesn’t work out.

For more information about structuring your medical spa profitably and compliantly, attend an AmSpa Medical Spa & Aesthetic Boot Camp and become the next med spa success story.

Tags:  AmSpa's Med Spa & Aesthetic Boot Camps  Business and Financials  Med Spa Ownership 

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