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What Your Medical Spa Needs to Know About the Coronavirus, Part 2

Posted By Administration, Friday, March 13, 2020

coronavirus covid-19

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

Since part one of this article was originally posted, the outbreak of Coronavirus, which causes the disease COVID-19, has spread rapidly in the U.S., with cases in every state and hundreds of cases in our largest cities. The World Health Organization has labeled the outbreak a “global pandemic,” and nations, states and cities have declared emergencies. Many public events have been cancelled or postponed, and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and other authorities are requesting that people take certain steps to help limit the spread of infection.  Many businesses are requesting that their employees work from home; unfortunately, medical spas are not in a position to do this.

In part one of this article, we discussed an employer’s duties in events like this, as well as the need to develop policies and response plans. Recently, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published a guidebook about preparing workplaces for COVID-19 for employers. We recommend that you read it in full. In addition to that information, here are some ideas for the challenges unique to medical spas:

  • Increase the use of personal protective equipment (PPE): Because of the close, personal nature of medical spa services, the chances of transmission are elevated. You may want to consider increasing the levels of PPE for all patient encounters. If you currently only use gloves for consults, consider adding a mask and eye shield, as well as more thoroughly ventilating the rooms.
  • Sterilize or remove commonly touched items: your waiting room sees the most traffic of any part of your facility, but it probably receives the least frequent cleanings. Make it a point to sterilize doors, chairs and counters multiple times each day or after each use. If you have a pen cup, remove it and use one pen that is wiped between uses. If you use a tablet-based system, sterilize it between uses or have your front-desk person take verbal instructions.
  • Limit chances for contact: Your prescribing providers—physicians, physician assistants and nurse practitioners—are critical members of your team, and, to the extent state laws allow, may want to perform patient examinations via telemedicine, provided proper supervision of the facility is maintained. Before patients come in for appointments, they should be prescreened and asked to reschedule if they have any symptoms or prior exposure. Employees who can work remotely should be permitted to do so.
  • Broaden your providers’ scopes: Identify your core services and make sure that as many of your employees who are able to provide the services are trained to do so (staying within each person’s licensed scope of practice). By having a cross-trained team, you can minimize disruptions if a single member is forced to miss work for any reason.

It also is extremely important that you communicate these efforts to your patients. Not only will it build confidence in your services, it will also help patients assist in the efforts. You may want to include a sign on the door or at the front desk to this effect:

We take the threat of the Coronavirus/COVID-19 very seriously. To combat the spread of this disease and to protect our patients and employees, we have instituted protocols and strengthened our already thorough sterilization procedures.

If you have questions about these procedures, please ask.

To assist us today, please cover coughs and sneezes, and refrain from touching surfaces. We have provided tissues and hand sanitizer for your use. Thank you.

For legal updates and business best practices delivered straight to your inbox, subscribe to AmSpa’s email newsletter. For more information on how AmSpa can help your practice operate legally and profitably, contact us online or call us at 312-981-0993.

Tags:  Med Spa Trends 

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What Medical Spa Owners Need to Know About Corporations

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, March 11, 2020

corporation formation

By James M. Stanford, JD, Partner, ByrdAdatto

The corporation is one of the oldest types of business model, and it is likely the most common entity type that comes to mind when you think of a business. The concept of a corporation was first developed under Roman law, and it was adopted by England in the early 17th century as a distinct legal entity.

Corporations became commonplace in the United States at the turn of the 19th century, during the Industrial Revolution. Investors and owners increasingly were drawn to the corporation as an efficient means by which to operate a large enterprise while offering liability protection to the shareholders. Today, the corporation is a mainstay for domestic and international business.

Limited Liability

One of the main advantages of forming a corporation is that the owners and their personal assets are protected from creditors of the corporation; this is known as the “corporate veil.” Except in rare situations, the owners typically stand to lose only the money invested in the corporation. Accordingly, only the corporation’s assets need be used to pay business debts and obligations.

There are certain circumstances under which an owner of a corporation can be held personally liable for the obligations of the corporation. The owner, for example, may be personally liable if they failed to withhold or otherwise remit taxes withheld from employees’ wages, or treated the corporation as an extension of their personal affairs, rather than as a separate legal entity. In such circumstances, the third party would be allowed to “pierce the corporate veil” and hold the shareholders personally liable for the corporation’s acts. Although “piercing the corporate veil” is not commonplace, an owner should never commingle personal assets with business assets.

Formation and Governance

Similar to other entities, filing a certificate of formation or articles of incorporation with the state government, typically the secretary of state’s office, is required to form a corporation. Depending on the size and complexity of the corporation, however, this filing may be much more complex than with other entities, such as a limited liability company or limited partnership.

Governance of a corporation is typically established through a combination of the certificate of formation, bylaws and possibly a shareholders’ agreement. The bylaws establish the basic rules that govern the ongoing formalities and decisions of corporate life. This usually includes the requirements for regular and special meetings of directors and shareholders, the quorum needed for such meetings, the number of votes that are required to approve corporate decisions, and other governing decisions. A shareholders’ agreement may supplement the bylaws regarding how the corporation should be operated and provide special shareholders’ rights and obligations. The agreement may include information on the management of the corporation and the privileges and protection of shareholders, or special rights for certain classes of shareholders. For example, these rights could include voting provisions for the election of directors, restrictions and rights of first refusal on shares transfers, preemptive rights, and tag-along and drag-along rights.

Corporate Income Tax

The notion of possible “double taxation” is one of the primary drawbacks of a corporation. Unlike a partnership and other pass-through tax structures, such as the “S corporation,” the corporation itself must pay tax on income before profits are distributed to the owners.

Historically, tax rates were much higher, ranging from 15% to 35%, but this recently changed to 21% under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. While the shareholders can elect for a corporation to be taxed under Subchapter S of the Internal Revenue Code—an S-corporation—there are substantial restrictions on ownership and share structure, typically reserving the S-corporation designation for small businesses only.

Types of Corporations

While the distinction between an S-corporation and C-corporation is merely tax election and not a state-level structural difference, there are a few other types of corporations. General business corporations are usually reserved for larger enterprises. Close corporations, however, often are used for smaller enterprises in which all or most of the shareholders are actively involved in the management of the business. Most states typically allow close corporations more flexibility in management. Professional corporations are another type, but these are limited to licensed professionals, as their name would suggest, and only professionals licensed in the corporation’s field may be shareholders.

AmSpa members receive a complimentary 20-minute Introductory Compliance Assessment with a ByrdAdatto attorney. Click here to learn how to join AmSpa today!

James M. Stanford is an attorney and partner at the ByrdAdatto law firm. From transitions, mergers, and acquisitions to structuring complex ownership arrangements, James enjoys the personal reward that comes from bringing parties together and making deals happen. James practices primarily in the areas of health care and corporate law with a focus on intellectual property. A proud father, Jim served in the U.S. Army and is fluent in Russian. In his spare time, he enjoys hunting, fishing, and spending time outdoors.

Tags:  Business and Financials  ByrdAdatto 

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Starting a Revolution: Sheila Nazarian, MD, MMM

Posted By Administration, Monday, March 9, 2020

dr sheila nazarian

By Michael Meyer, Content Writer/Editor, American Med Spa Association

Today, it seems that practically everyone is determined to use social media to help make themselves stars. But it wasn’t that long ago that the list of people who became celebrities on social media was relatively short. Back then, those who managed to make names for themselves in this way did so primarily by presenting something that nobody else could offer. In the case of Sheila Nazarian, MD, MMM, straightforward and engaging looks at plastic surgery led her to become a social media sensation with more than 238,000 followers on Instagram (@drsheilanazarian). Today, she’s paying it forward by helping other medical aesthetic professionals find their paths to success.

Opening the Door

Dr. Nazarian has overcome challenges her entire life. She was born in New York to a Jewish family from Iran that wanted to obtain birthright citizenship for her in the U.S. due to Iran becoming an Islamic republic as a result of the 1979 Iranian Revolution. When they returned to Iran, however, the family was not permitted to leave. When Nazarian was six, she and her family were smuggled out of Iran into Pakistan in a truck filled with corn, and, shortly thereafter, emigrated to the U.S.

In college, she studied orthopedic surgery, but found that it did not offer her much of a chance to be creative, so she began to study plastic surgery, which she found to be “the perfect combination of science and art.” During this time, she began using Facebook to keep in touch with friends and family, and, before long, she began to see the benefits of using social media to do even more.

“People were kind of following my career, because there aren’t that many surgeons that are female in my community,” Nazarian says. “And then I started talking about aesthetic things and growing Facebook.”

After finishing her plastic surgery residency at the University of Southern California, Nazarian found herself with the time to take her social media engagement to another level. “I’d just graduated and I wasn’t so busy, so I started making tons of videos because I thought people would rather watch a video than read on my website,” Nazarian explains. “Little did I know that was going to help me grow very quickly in SEO [search engine optimization] organically. I was at a conference for residents—I was one of the faculty members—and somebody was talking about SEO on stage, and I said, “Let me search ‘Beverly Hills plastic surgeon’ and see where I rank.’ And I was on the first page, two years out of residency, because of the videos and social media.” Nazarian credits this success to her engaging content.

“When Google looks at your website and sees how relevant it is, they look at how long people stay on your website and, when you have videos, people stay on for a long time to watch the videos,” she says. “Since I was the only one who really had videos at that time, I grew in the ranking so quickly, without investing any money in Google AdWords or anything like that.”

Ready for Her Closeup

Because her content was so popular, and because she was creating videos rather than simply blog posts, for example, Nazarian soon became a go-to plastic surgery expert for all sort of content creators.

“When the journalists were looking for an expert, I showed up number one and, because I am on camera, it was kind of like a video résumé,” Nazarian explains. “When they saw I can speak in layman›s terms, really communicate procedures easily for people to understand and I’m not afraid of the camera, they chose me.”

Nazarian has appeared on programs such as The Doctors, The Real, Revenge Body With Khloé Kardashian, Inside Edition, The Insiders, among many others, as well as numerous local talk shows.

Meanwhile, Nazarian founded her private practice, Nazarian Plastic Surgery, in 2013 and, since then, it has become a fixture in the crowded aesthetics scene in Beverly Hills. She estimates that she spends half of her time performing surgical procedures and half of her time performing medical aesthetic procedures, and she feels that the things about her that are somewhat unusual in the field help set her apart as a practitioner.

“I’m female, so a lot of women feel more comfortable, especially when it comes to breast augmentation or labiaplasties, being with a woman instead of a male,” Nazarian says. “Also, I’m dark skinned, so I did get a lot of dark-skinned individuals coming in initially for issues with their skin because I focus on lasers and spa equipment that are safe for all skin types instead of just having one thing that is supposedly good for everybody. Also, being on TV a lot and doing speaking gigs and things like that where we focus on empowerment rather than telling people what they should look like—I think that’s a huge differentiator, as well.”

In addition to her work in aesthetics, Nazarian operates a nonprofit, the Nazarian Institute (@nazarianinstitute), that presents events that are designed to help medical aesthetic professionals build and grow their brands. Whether she’s acting as a physician or a teacher, she makes sure to take the time to make connections with the people with whom she works.

“I’m inspired by helping people and hearing other people’s stories,” Nazarian says. “I think we, as physicians, a lot of times, don’t take time to really accept a thank you—I think it’s just what we expect of ourselves, to give good results. And when people say, ‘Thank you,’ we’re like, ‘Oh great! So glad you’re happy!’ And we move on to the next patient. I’m inspired by changing people’s lives, and when they say, ‘Thank you,’ I really want to internalize that and take it in so that I don’t burn out.”

Welcome to the Party

Understanding the value of making positive connections is a key to the success of Nazarian’s social media, and she advises other medical aesthetic professionals to maintain their online presence in a similar way.

“Treat your social media like a cocktail party,” Nazarian says. “If you walked into a cocktail party and showed your before-and-afters to people, you probably wouldn’t make many friends. But if you walked in and you were wearing a cute outfit or talked about your kids or talked about the place you went on vacation, it’s probably a lot more interesting to people. I think the trap a lot of people fall into is just posting pictures of their practice, pictures of their patients and testimonials. I think it becomes really inauthentic and sales-oriented. I think the more you can let people into your life and inspire people, the more successful you’re going to be on social media.”

AmSpa members receive QP every quarter. Click here to learn how to become a member and make your med spa the next aesthetic success story.

Tags:  Med Spa Trends  QP  Social Media Influencers 

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Can a Doctor Prescribe Controlled Substances Via Telemedicine?

Posted By Administration, Friday, March 6, 2020

prescriptions via telemedicine

By Bradford E. Adatto, Partner, ByrdAdatto

From groceries to workout classes, entrepreneurs in all industries are attempting to duplicate the “Amazon Effect”—the ongoing evolution and disruption of the retail market, both online and in physical outlets, resulting from increased e-commerce. The digital marketplace is not only shifting the way people shop, but also altering the future of medicine. While the ability to write prescriptions via telemedicine offers an attractive opportunity to streamline the patient-doctor experience and reach patients with limited access to health care, prescribers need to be cautious. Filling internet prescriptions is a highly regulated area of law, especially with regard to controlled substances. Businesses dipping into telemed prescriptions need to familiarize themselves with national and state legislation that affect this digital marketplace.

In many states, a telemed prescription cannot legally be filled without an initial in-person exam by the prescriber. Complicating this rule, the federal government passed the Ryan Haight Act in 2008. Many states look to this legislation for guidance in shaping laws surrounding internet prescriptions and the distribution of controlled substances. In short, the act prohibits the distribution of controlled substances by means of the internet unless the ordering physician/prescriber has conducted at least one in-person exam and the prescription is issued for a valid medical reason. The act also describes seven exceptions from the above requirements. The problem is that these ‘exceptions’ provide such a narrow definition of telemedicine that the act actually inhibits legitimate telemedical prescribers trying to reach patients with otherwise limited access to health care.

While the act was written to shut down internet pharmacies that were attempting to circumvent a physician’s exam and reduce the amount of illegal prescriptions for controlled substances, it has failed to account for how legitimate telemedicine businesses operate. Recently, the Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment (“SUPPORT”) for Patients and Communities Act was signed into law. This legislation aims to reduce the number of Americans impacted by opioid addictions and develop alternative treatments. Additionally, the SUPPORT Act requires that the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) promulgate final regulations, specifying the limited circumstances where controlled substances may be prescribed via telemedicine, with a special registration for such telemedicine organizations. However, to date, the DEA has not issued any regulations for the special registration for telemedicine. In the interim, many state legislatures have now passed their own laws to address the issue of the remote prescription of controlled substances.

This is a complicated emerging area of law that will impact any entrepreneur attempting to duplicate the Amazon Effect for prescriptions. As such, prescribers need to be cautious and understand the nuances of individual state law before prescribing controlled substances, or they could be in violation of not only state, but also federal law.

AmSpa members receive a complimentary 20-minute Introductory Compliance Assessment with a ByrdAdatto attorney. Click here to learn how to join AmSpa today!

Bradford E. Adatto is a partner at ByrdAdatto, a national business and health care boutique law firm with offices in Dallas and Chicago. His background is in regulatory, transactional and securities law. Having worked in health care law his entire career, he has an in-depth knowledge of the “dos and don’ts” of this heavily regulated industry. Brad has worked with physicians, physician groups, and other medical service providers in developing ambulatory surgical centers, in-office and freestanding ancillary service facilities, and other medical joint ventures. He regularly counsels clients with respect to federal and state health care regulations that impact investments, transactions and contract terms, including Medicare fraud and abuse, antitrust, anti-kickback, anti-referral, and private securities laws. Adatto has been recognized as Top Rated Lawyer by the Dallas Morning News (2016) and a Best Lawyer in Dallas in health care by D Magazine (2016 & 2018-2019), selected as a Best Lawyer in America in health care (2017-2019), and was recently named a Best Lawyer in Texas (2019) and Texas Super Lawyer, published by Thompson Reuters (2019).

Tags:  ByrdAdatto  Med Spa Law 

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The Follow-up—The Cherry on Top of the Sales Process

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, March 4, 2020

follow-up phone call

By Terri Ross, Terri Ross Consulting

Imagine this scenario: You have a consultation with a prospective patient. It goes really well. You establish a good rapport. You answer all their questions and smoothly handle all their objections. However, when it comes to closing the deal and booking a procedure, they can’t quite commit at this time.

So, what do you do? If you are like most clinicians in the aesthetics industry, you chalk it up as a “win some, lose some” situation and move on to the next patient. But the truth is, not every prospect will say yes on the spot.

The Facts on Follow-up

Did you know that 80% of all sales require five follow-up touch points to close?  According to research by Marketing Donut:

  • 44% of sales reps stop following up after one rejection or ignored email;
  • 22% stop after two attempts;
  • 14% stop after three attempts; and
  • 12% stop after four attempts.

That means 8% of salespeople are scoring 80% of the deals.

So how does that translate or apply to generating revenue for your med spa? It means that establishing a prospective patient follow-up protocol and a process to nurture existing patients for additional sales is crucial. This is how repeat business and referrals are generated—through consistent follow-up.

Why Follow Up?

Following up does not mean being a pest or annoying people. If you shift your mindset from selling to educating, you simply are providing additional opportunities to educate them about what you offer and why they need it.

If you can detach or release the expectation for when the sale happens and instead focus on...

  • Cultivating the “know, like and trust” factor and genuinely communicating educational information with prospective patients;
  • Continuing to reach out to people who already know who you are or with whom you have established some relationship vs. spending more money on generating new leads through advertising;
  • Respecting that some people really do need time to think about a large financial outlay, but not letting too much time pass for them to linger on a decision; and
  • Putting a concrete, consistent follow-up plan into place,

...you can experience the magic of following up and watching your revenue increase.

Create a Post-Consultation Follow-up Plan

If a patient doesn’t book post-consultation, here is my six-step follow-up plan:

  1. Send a thank you email—or, better yet, a hand-written note that will really set you apart—and include follow-up information about the physician, practice or procedure they were interested in.
  2. Schedule a follow-up call two days post-visit (or whatever protocol your practice decides works best) to offer more information, see if they have had time to think about it or have any questions, and schedule an appointment if they are ready.
  3. Track all communication in your practice management software program.
  4. Continue to stay in touch when appropriate. Invite prospective patients to education events or seminars.
  5. Send monthly newsletters out to prospects, as well as to all established patients, as future touch points to highlight a particular procedure, treatment or special you might be running. Use these newsletters to credential your staff, educate on the latest trends or new equipment you might have, or a particular retail product that is a much smaller investment.
  6. Vary your message in email communication—include a provider video or a testimonial, or perhaps take the opportunity to simply thank them for their continued support and check in to see how they are doing.

If you need help with establishing a strong follow-up process or feel you or your staff could use expert sales training, I am here to help. To learn more or book your onsite sales training today, click here.

Terri Ross brings more than 20 years of sales and management experience to the field, having worked with leading-edge medical device companies such as Zeltiq, Medicis, EMD Serono, Merck Schering Plough and Indigo Medical, a surgical division of Johnson.

Ross’ vast knowledge and experience as a sales director managing upwards of $20M in revenue and successful teams has allowed her to become a renowned plastic surgery management consultant helping aesthetic practices thrive.

To optimize revenues and business performance, Ross’ practice management consulting services help physicians evaluate practice processes including, but not limited to, overall-operating efficiencies, staff skill assessment, customer service and operating efficiency strategies. The goal is to develop a comprehensive plan of action to improve productivity, quality, efficiency and return on investment.

Tags:  Business and Financials  Terri Ross Consulting 

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How to Cash In on Social Media Followers

Posted By Administration, Monday, March 2, 2020

social media followers

By Danielle Smith, NP-C, CEO, smith & co

Social media comes at us from every angle, and the pressure to keep up, especially in the aesthetics industry, is tremendous and growing every day. Fortunately and unfortunately, aesthetics is a very attractive field for photo-driven social media platforms. The content is captivating, the field is booming, and everyone wants to see beautiful people becoming more beautiful. With that comes the pressure for you and your practice to keep up. Are you already feeling stressed out and behind? Don’t worry—you have more than you think.

The key to making money on social media is having a following that you can leverage for revenue. Luckily, medical spas fit that mold perfectly. You have a following—your patient base—that you can leverage for revenue by selling services and products. Furthermore, in aesthetics, you are positioned to capture repeat patients and recurring revenue. The patients who you have already seen are your most valuable assets, and you should invest in them as such. These are the patients who already have traveled through your marketing, called, visited with, and spent their money with you. They also can quickly become your next word-of-mouth marketers. Social media is a powerful tool that can close the gap that happens from the moment they leave your office until the moment they come back, while optimizing potential referral gain—whether they mean to or not.

Taking the tiny step of converting your real-life followers into your digital followers can transform your entire social media platform into a lean, mean, money-making machine. The most powerful ways to accomplish this are to:

  • Stay connected with your current patients;
  • Increase exposure and reach; and
  • Convert promotions into sales.

Staying Connected

In the ever-expanding aesthetic industry, it is becoming increasingly difficult to retain your patients. Staying connected to your patients without soliciting them is key. Think back to a time before social media—what did that look like? You had to have your kids in the same school, be in the same social circles, join the same committees and charities, go to networking events, and maintain an exhaustive social calendar. Now, you can just log on to social media to show people some love and achieve the same effect. It keeps you present in mind and relevant without being pushy or invasive.

Increasing Exposure and Reach

Now that you have connected with Sally—one of your patients who is a huge fan—you can engage with her and stay present in her social media world on regular basis. At this point, a beautiful thing called an algorithm starts to take over.

Social media wants to be as useful as possible and push content to the user in the most efficient way possible, sometimes even before the user realizes they’re looking for it. Say that one of Sally’s Instagram friends, Lisa, is looking for a new medical aesthetic practice and has visited some pages—Instagram will start to push your content and page to Lisa because of your association with Sally. Amazing, right? If this happened with one in 10 patients, your leads would increase by 10%. Let’s take it a step farther—what if Lisa reached out to Sally and asked for her opinion of you? Your lead just became a conversion, and you still haven’t really done anything. On top of that, now that Lisa is a patient and a follower, Instagram takes that as validating feedback and will continue to push your content in similar situations. Brilliant! Are you starting to feel better about social media?

Convert Promotions into Sales

So now that you have built your lean, mean, money-making machine full of your most loyal patients, followers, influencers and collaborative businesses, it’s time to print money. Running a promotion or special is one of the easiest ways to convert followers into revenue. It is not something you should do constantly, but consider doing it from time to time. Posting specials on social media not only rewards your current followers, but also provides an opportunity for them to share it with their friends and other prospective new patients. It also provides you with content in which you can tag your influencers and collaborative businesses, allowing them to share it with their followers and reinforce your relevance to the algorithm. Whether your objective is to sell products or book appointments, always be efficient with directing leads to your intended target.

Making Your Mark

The beauty of this process is that, as you repeat these cycles, your following and patient base continue to grow. Your presence and validity on social media continue to increase, and you continue to cash out each cycle with larger and larger payouts. By using your current patient base, free social media channels and periodic specials, you can capitalize on the exponential growth and reach that only brilliant algorithms can offer.

AmSpa members receive QP every quarter. Click here to learn how to become a member and make your med spa the next aesthetic success story.

Danielle Smith, NP-C, is an aesthetic nurse practitioner based in Miami Beach, Florida. She is co-founder and CEO of smith & co, an injectables-only medical practice, and is currently the second-largest solo injector of Allergan products in Miami. Smith received her bachelor’s degree in nursing science from the University of Miami, and her Master of Nursing Science, Family Nurse Practitioner degree from Georgetown University. She has become a serial entrepreneur and has launched several boutique injectables-only practices that focus on a low-overhead, high-patient-value business model. She also has developed a six-month mentorship injector training program called åcademy.

Tags:  Business and Financials  Med Spa Trends  QP  Social Media Influencers 

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Social Media and Micro-influencers

Posted By Administration, Friday, February 28, 2020

micro-influencer

By Jenny Robinson, Skin Body Soul

Social media is an incredibly powerful tool for your medical spa. It has dramatically changed the way services are marketed and allowed connections to take place on a more organic and relevant level with the highly desired patients in your local community.

Evidence shows that social media—specifically Instagram—is being used as a source of knowledge by the people you’re trying to attract to your medical spa. Future patients are deciding what to buy and where to buy based on the information they’re getting from the people they follow on Instagram.

Working with micro-influencers in your community on Instagram and Facebook is an easy, cheap and effective way to reach these would-be patients.  You can offer a free service to a micro-influencer and, in exchange, they will post about their experience at your medical spa, give glowing recommendations to their following and create useful digital content for your own future marketing purposes.

My medical spa, Skin Body Soul, markets through micro-influencers regularly, and we see five to 10 new patients with each new campaign. Whether you’re new to the industry or looking for a fresh patient base, this is a low-cost and measurable form of digital marketing that will help your medical spa gain new traction.

What is a Micro-influencer?

Every community has a bevy of lifestyle, fashion, skin care or mom bloggers looking to promote themselves into local celebrities by ways of their growing Instagram following. These are micro-influencers.

Micro-influencers have engaged, local followings. Seek out the Instagrammers who have audiences matching your desired patient base. (Hint: Avoid bikini models—their audience is middle-aged men and teenage boys.)

Micro-influencers often share recommendations or reviews of products, services and local businesses with their following. Their followers see them as experts in their communities and use them to make their own purchasing decisions. This is the new-age word-of-mouth referral.

How Can I Take Advantage of This Opportunity?

Offer micro-influencers an opportunity to check out your medical spa via a free service. In return, ask that they post about their procedure to their Instagram feed and stories. They may also have a blog or YouTube channel they use to promote your practice. You’ll be amazed by the amount of work they put into creating content for your business.

Think of this as an inexpensive television commercial. And it’s even more effective, because its being broadcast directly to your target patient base. By getting the recommendation of a micro-influencer, you’re securing the approval of a trusted local celebrity. Their audience is sure to follow suit and patronize your med spa.

How Do I Find Them?

Not skilled at Instagram? No problem. Someone on your staff is sure to know the basic ins and outs of the platform. Start by asking your staff or patients what local Instagrammers they follow for tips about beauty, health or skin care.

Next, on the Instagram Discover page, try searching the hashtag of your city’s name followed by the word “blogger.” For example, if you’re located in Sacramento, California, you’d search #sacramentoblogger.

Once you have a few candidates, answer the following questions before reaching out to them.

  • Do they have between 1,000 and 10,000 followers? The number of followers can be found on an Instagrammer’s profile in the top bar. The number of followers is less important than the hyper-localization of their following. People with fewer than 10,000 followers likely have a more localized following. When you find an Instagrammer with  follower counts ranging from 40,000 to 100,000 or more, it’s less likely that the campaign is going to make an impression on their following.
  • Do they actually live in your city or town? Check out their profile bio to see where they live. If they don’t live nearby, they’re not the right fit. Remember: You’re looking for someone who lives right in your backyard because you’re trying to attract their audience to your medical spa.
  • Are they a good fit for your brand? A quick scroll through their posted photos will give you an idea of the content this person usually posts. You’re looking for someone who’s audience matches your desired patient base. (And remember the warning about bikini models.)
  • Do they make frequent recommendations to their followers? This takes a bit of light stalking. Look at their photos and see if they’re often posed with a product. Do most of their photos look like advertisements? If so, you’ll want to skip this one and move on to the next micro-influencer. The Instagrammers who seldom make recommendations are taken more seriously by their following. Your campaign will receive more traction if you work with someone who is not frequently selling to their followers.

The best micro-influencers for medical spas tend to have roughly 3,000 – 5,000 followers. They have one or more children and describe themselves as “mommy bloggers.” They often don’t have a day job that takes them outside of the house.

Have a Contract

To protect yourself and your business, you must have a contract with the micro-influencer. Clearly outline the service you’re offering and what exactly you are guaranteed in return. The contract should outline the time frame the influencer has to post, how many posts to make and what platforms to use. Be sure to include an anti-defamation clause and other important details you deem necessary. Consult your attorney if you are unsure how to create this contract.

Having a full understanding of the powers and pitfalls of social media is no longer an option for businesses. Working with micro-influencers will bring you new patients and greatly enhance your social media presence. With so few low-cost, high-conversion marketing options available, working with micro-influencers is a fresh take with potentially large rewards.

AmSpa members receive QP every quarter. Click here to learn how to become a member and make your med spa the next aesthetic success story.

A recovering medical sales rep turned entrepreneur, Jenny Robinson has worked in the medical aesthetic industry since 2011, owning and operating a multilocation, multistate medical spa company, Skin Body Soul. She is a former industry council board member for the American Society of Dermatologic Surgery, and is currently a board member of Inspire Midtown, a professional women’s group in Sacramento, California. Her professional passion lies in marketing, and she believes strongly in the power of branding. Robinson is a Sacramento native who has traveled to more than 30 countries with her husband, Brandon, with whom she owns Skin Body Soul. The Robinsons also run a successful travel blog called Roaming Robinsons.

Tags:  Med Spa Trends  QP  Social Media Influencers 

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What Your Medical Spa Needs to Know About the Coronavirus

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, February 26, 2020

man with mask

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

It’s flu season again, but this year we have the added specter of the Coronavirus outbreak in China making daily headlines. While the virus has yet to gain a substantial foothold in the U.S., the threat of this highly contagious and long-lasting disease provides us with an opportunity discuss something much less exciting: employer responsibilities during outbreaks. A recent article from WorldatWork discusses responsibilities and concerns international employers face in this and similar outbreaks; many of these issues will apply to domestic businesses as well. Medical spas, in particular, have some heightened risk of these concerns because of the close and personal nature of the services they provide.

From a business perspective, medical spas are vulnerable to diseases or other disruptive events interfering with their ability to do business. A typical medical spa employs a relatively small number of people, so any absences due to prolonged illness can greatly reduce the spa’s ability to provide services. To compound this, the medical director and supervising health professionals represent critical points of failure in the medical spa. If the physician, physician assistant or nurse practitioner are unable to see patients or supervise, the medical spa would be unable to offer medical services.

Given these vulnerabilities, it would be prudent for medical spas to work to manage these risks and develop contingency plans. This can be as simple as having infection control and hygiene procedures, as well as a leave policy in place. For example, requiring frequent handwashing and room disinfections as well as providing a clear sick leave policy for employees so they may stay home when sick can reduce the chances of infection and limit its spread within your business. Additionally, having an agreement with an alternate medical director can reduce lost revenue due to business disruptions if the primary medical director is unable to supervise or see patients.

To add to the risks to the business operation discussed above, employers also may need to provide disability or medical leave benefits to employees if they become infected in the course of their employment. In the same way an employee is entitled to receive benefits if they are physically injured while on the job, they also would be entitled to benefits if they contracted a debilitating illness in the course of their work.

In addition to these practical concerns, some regulatory issues may need to be considered as well. Employers have a general duty under the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) to provide a workplace that is “free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm.” This general duty applies equally to physical dangers, such as falling objects, as well as health dangers, such as infection. OSHA’s standards on blood-borne pathogens and needle sticks are the most familiar health risk procedures. If there is a risk of exposure to airborne contagions, such as coronavirus, employers may have a duty under OSHA to adopt policies and procedures to protect their employees. In fact, OSHA has created a resource page specifically for coronavirus; other threats can be viewed here.

It is clear that you need some sort of plan, policy and procedure to address these sorts of outbreak or epidemic risks. Ideally, they should work to limit exposure chances, stop the transmission of infections, provide for recovery for affected employees, and allow the operations of the business to continue. Simple, right? Fortunately, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control provides some guidance in this resource to help you form a response plan. Even if the Coronavirus does not become a widespread issue in the U.S., now is a good time to develop and implement a plan. Infectious diseases will always be a concern—they won’t always make major headlines, but even something as simple as a bout of the flu can cause major disruptions in your business.

For legal updates and business best practices delivered straight to your inbox, subscribe to AmSpa’s email newsletter. For more information on how AmSpa can help your practice operate legally and profitably, contact us online or call us at 312-981-0993.

Tags:  Business and Financials  Med Spa Law 

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Member Spotlight: Take a Ride on the Beauty Bus

Posted By Administration, Monday, February 24, 2020

beauty bus

By Michael Meyer, Content Writer/Editor, American Med Spa Association

 As any marketing professional can tell you, it helps to have a hook—and Sara Trammell, MD, of Abilene, Texas, has a worthy one.

Trammell spent several years working in family practice at a hospital in Abilene; she also spent some time consulting at a medical spa owned by the hospital, where her love of aesthetics originated. After the hospital shifted its medical spa to a plastic surgeon’s office, Trammell decided to explore her own path in medical aesthetics.

“I started off by doing Botox parties, mainly because I had friends and coworkers asking if they could still come get their Botox,” Trammell explains. “I did that by just literally packing up a little box, going to people’s houses, getting groups of people together and doing Botox. Then they started asking for more and more services—’Are you going to start doing fillers? Can you get a laser? What are you going to do next?’ So, I started looking into that.”

Going Mobile

Trammell began to expand the services she offered, and also started investigating some ways to provide mobile aesthetics services around the Abilene area. What she found helped shape her practice’s identity.

“I ran across an Airstream nail salon that was up in Canada,” Trammell says. “I loved the concept and just the look of it. So, my husband and I started looking for an Airstream trailer in our area, and after several weeks of looking, we found one in Dallas.”

Trammell bought the trailer, gutted it, redid the interior to include a treatment chair and cabinets, and decorated both the interior and exterior in a fun, kitschy retro style. With that, the Beauty Bus was born.

“I go to people’s homes, I’ve been to businesses and I’ve been to different shopping centers that put together weekend pop-ups,” she says. “There’s a restaurant and shopping area outside of Abilene where we did a big event, and I offered Botox and consultations. I was able to get about 10 new regular patients just from that event. I think people like the mobile aspect of it, the fun aspect of it—it’s a cute, eye-catching thing.”

Trammell runs her primary aesthetics practice, which she opened in March 2019, out of her guest house. She does not have any employees, but she says her patients appreciate the individual attention they receive from her and are glad that she performs all procedures herself.

“Most people say how much they like the personalized care,” she says. “They’re not having to talk to anybody on the phone to schedule appointments—I do all of my appointments through Square, so they can schedule their appointments 24 hours a day and manage it on their own. I think I’ve been able to take my experience at the hospital, where the medical spa was run in a very large, corporate setting where there were lots of restrictions and rules and regulations, and make it super personal and make it fit my lifestyle.”

Membership Has Its Privileges

Trammell joined the American Med Spa Association (AmSpa) while she was setting up her practice, and she’s used the knowledge available to her through her membership to help her practice get on its feet.

“It was one of the first groups that I joined, and it has really been a life-saver,” Trammell says. “It’s really been a positive experience—the legal and business aspects of the industry were things that I knew nothing about.”

Trammell says that she has watched all the webinars and listened to all the podcasts produced and hosted by AmSpa and, in September 2019, she attended AmSpa’s Dallas Medical Spa & Aesthetic Boot Camp, where she learned even more about how to operate a successful medical spa.

“I just started adding some retail to my shelves, and I learned that actually from the Boot Camp, when Bryan Durocher said, ‘You need to have retail—you need so much retail,’” Trammell explains. “I literally got on my phone and started ordering retail that day. I’ve put it up since then and it’s done really well.”

Growing the Brand

Now that her practice is up and running, Trammell is considering her next steps. She has installed a permanent parking space for the Airstream, complete with hookups for electricity and air conditioning, and she intends to use it as a second room at her home practice when it’s not being used as a mobile medical spa. She’s also considering hiring someone to administer treatments with which she is not currently familiar, such as body contouring.
Regardless of what she does next, however, it’s safe to say that Trammell has found her calling in medical aesthetics.

“I want people to be confident in who they are,” she says. “Your appearance is not the most important thing, that is true, but I think when people are confident in their appearance, then it allows them to be confident in all areas and aspects of their lives. I’m not trying to change your looks—I just want to make you a more confident person so you can go out and share that confidence with everybody else that you come in contact with.”

AmSpa members receive QP every quarter. Click here to learn how to become a member and make your med spa the next aesthetic success story.

Tags:  Med Spa Trends  Member Spotlight  QP 

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What Aesthetic Practices Need to Know About Naturopathic Medicine

Posted By Administration, Friday, February 21, 2020

naturopathy

By Courtney P. Cowan, JD, ByrdAdatto

Medical consumers are becoming more and more discerning when it comes to seeking health care. Healthier lifestyles, a growing distrust of pharmaceuticals and an opioid crisis have many seeking treatment outside of traditional medicine. Naturopathic medicine, or naturopathy, is one such alternative. Rather than treating and diagnosing individual symptoms, naturopathy aims to treat the whole patient, often prescribing changes in diet and lifestyle, as well as a wide array of holistic supplements.

Due to a lack of industry standards or overall governing authority of the field, there are potential risks that both naturopath clinicians and consumers should be aware of, beginning with the very title—“naturopath.” Many are unaware of the difference between a traditional naturopath and naturopathic doctor (ND). The two are not interchangeable, and regulations surrounding the two professions vary from state to state. According to the Association of Accredited Naturopathic Medical Colleges (AANMC), a licensed ND is a primary care provider who is trained to diagnose and prescribe, while a traditional naturopath is not.

Confusing the distinction further is that naturopathic medicine is not yet a regulated profession in some states, and thus a traditional naturopath may use the title ND, without having earned that degree. In fact, to receive an ND, one must complete four years of schooling by an accredited institution, complete thousands of hours of supervised clinical training and complete two national board exams. In contrast, traditional naturopaths may receive training from online correspondence or certificate programs ranging from a few months to years. These traditional programs lack standardization or onsite clinical training. Even in states where the profession is regulated, the services that each distinction (traditional or ND) is legally able to provide vary.

It is important to note that while licensed MDs and DOs can practice naturopathic modalities, many NDs are not actually licensed by any state medical or osteopathic board. Moreover, while NDs often use holistic medicine to treat patients, there may be some crossover treatments that fall under the definition of the practice of medicine. For example, prescribing medicine, lasers and intravenous treatments may be used in naturopathic medicine; however, these may qualify as statutory medical procedures that legally should only be performed by MDs, DOs or providers who have had specific training for the procedure. In many states, the “corporate practice of medicine” rule, which prohibits anyone but a physician from practicing what is deemed medical, may also apply.

AmSpa members receive a complimentary 20-minute Introductory Compliance Assessment with a ByrdAdatto attorney. Click here to learn how to join AmSpa today!

As the daughter of a periodontist, Courtney P. Cowan has been fascinated by the health care field since childhood. She often accompanied her father to his office, where she developed an appreciation for physicians and their respective practices. Having absolutely none of the dexterity that is required to be a surgeon, however, Cowan instead decided to pursue a degree in business while attending Baylor University. It wasn’t until she was required to take a business law course that she discovered her passion for the law. After graduating from Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law, Cowan serendipitously connected with ByrdAdatto and now assists clients by combining her business background with her enthusiasm for health care and the law.

Tags:  ByrdAdatto  Med Spa Law  Med Spa Trends 

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