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New Ohio Law Provides Affirmative Defense to HIPAA Liability in Data Breaches

Posted By Administration, Friday, November 30, 2018

By Robert J. Fisher, Attorney, ByrdAdatto

If you work in a medical spa, you are undoubtedly using the internet in more ways than one. In the age of electronic health records, online patient portals, and rapidly expanding telemedicine, there is an ever growing amount of personal and medical information available to be illegally accessed by wrongdoers with keyboards. As a result, federal and state governments and agencies have taken the “stick” approach by penalizing those who fail to protect their data, such as the $16 million payment Anthem made to the federal government in August for a breach that exposed the personal information of nearly 79 million people, and by recognizing a private cause of action for individuals to sue companies who violate HIPAA standards (see our previous article here).

In contrast, Ohio has recently taken the “carrot” approach by passing the Cybersecurity Safe Harbor Act (“Cyber Act”) that takes a new angle on the data breach issue by incentivizing companies to develop data security plans by offering legal protection rather than by fear of penalty. In the first law of its kind, the Cyber Act allows companies to use an affirmative defense against tort claims resulting from a data breach if an adequate cyber-protection program was in place at the time of the breach.

However, for a company to use the safe harbor, its cyber-protection protocol must meet the criteria set forth by the Cyber Act. Specifically, healthcare companies and practices must meet sector-specific laws and standards such as HIPAA and HITECH both in the written plan protocol, and its implementation. Additionally, the Cyber Act is not one size fits all as each security plan must be tailored in complexity and scope based on certain factors such as structure of the company, sensitivity of information, cost effectiveness of security improvements, and availability of tools.

While this law is specific to Ohio, it may be a sign of laws to come nationwide that would further encourage healthcare companies to protect themselves from suit by implementing strengthened data protection plans. Further, it indicates that HIPAA continues to be the standard on which healthcare companies need to base their compliance programs, regardless of whether HIPAA specifically applies to them. As such, we continue to recommend that all healthcare companies and medical practices protect themselves by preparing and enacting a HIPAA compliant data protection plan, or having their current plan audited for sufficiency.

For more information on best practices, laws and regulations, attend The 2019 Medical Spa Show in Las Vegas, NV.

Robert J. Fisher’s passion for healthcare traces back to his high school days of shadowing doctors. His passion evolved in college to study as a pre-med major. The last major evolution of Robert’s interest in health care was the transition to an interest in health care law. With this education, a business attorney for a father, and a renowned orthopedic surgeon for a father-in-law, Robert has the pedigree for success as a business and health care attorney at ByrdAdatto.

Tags:  ByrdAdatto  Med Spa Law 

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Keep The Holidays Happy with Legally Compliant Med Spa Events

Posted By Administration, Thursday, November 29, 2018
Updated: Thursday, November 29, 2018

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

Many medical spas and medical aesthetic facilities thank their loyal customers and VIPs with events or parties during the holiday season, where people can undergo treatments while enjoying refreshments with friends and employees. However, despite the frivolity, medical spa owners and operators need to take care to observe all the rules and regulations that they would in the normal course of business. In fact, in a party setting, this might prove to be something of a challenge.

Principle among these concerns is patient privacy. In a party setting, it might seem like no big deal for operators and attendees to take pictures and post them on social media; in fact, it’s the sort of behavior that a traditional retail outlet might encourage, since it shows customers having fun in an exciting setting. However, if photos of a party your medical spa is hosting are posted without a patient’s consent, it is a violation of HIPAA and likely other state regulations related to patient privacy, since you are tacitly admitting that these are your patients. Make sure that anyone appearing in photos you want to post from the party has consented to you using his or her likeness in this fashion; this typically can be accomplished with a disclaimer on the invite, although you should check with your healthcare attorney to make sure that this covers you completely.

Also, regardless of where the party takes place—it’s common for patients to host Botox parties, for example—you must observe the same procedures and protocols that you would in the course of your everyday business. In most states, the law requires that a physician must conduct a face-to-face consultation with each patient who seeks to undergo a medical procedure, and regardless of whether you’re administering these treatments at a party or during normal business hours, they are medical in nature and subject to the rules and regulations that govern medical procedures in your state. (AmSpa members can check the legal summary of medical aesthetic laws in their state.) So by the letter of the law, a physician or licensed practitioner (such as a nurse practitioner or physician assistant) must take a history, conduct a physical and administer an examination to each patient.

After a successful consultation, the patient’s treatment can commence, and while that treatment does not necessarily need to be conducted by a physician or licensed professional, you must make sure that proper supervision is provided. Provided the procedure falls within their scopes of practice, non-licensed professionals—such as laser technicians—may perform the actual treatments in lieu of a physician. However, a licensed professional must be available during the treatment, should the non-licensed professional require his or her assistance.

It is a good idea to make sure that a physician or another licensed professional is always on-site while medical procedures are being performed. Most medical spa treatments have very little risk of complications or negative outcomes, but if one should occur at one of these parties, the presence of a licensed professional will help protect the business against charges of impropriety.

This might seem like a lot of trouble to go to for a party, but the last thing in the world you want is for your state board of health to leave a citation in your stocking. Make sure all your legal bases are covered, and have a happy holiday season!

Tags:  Med Spa Law 

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The Rise of Non-Core Physicians

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, November 27, 2018

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

During its early years, the medical aesthetics industry was dominated by the physicians who are referred to as “core doctors”—plastic surgeons, facial plastic surgeons, oculoplastic surgeons, and dermatologists. This makes sense, since these physicians are well-suited to oversee and provide medical aesthetic services. However, in recent years, more and more non-core doctors have entered the marketplace. They are looking for ways to boost their compensation, define their brands and be their own bosses, and they are taking over the industry, much to core doctors’ chagrin.

Today, approximately 60% of all medical directors at medical spas are non-core physicians, and it’s likely that percentage will only increase in coming years. An incredible influx of non-core doctors is coming into the marketplace, and it is very likely that their ranks will expand as the popularity of medical spas increases and the public becomes more aware of these businesses.

Core doctors tend to presume that they are best-equipped to deal with the intricacies of the non-surgical medical aesthetic industry, because it is roughly adjacent to their fields of expertise. However, many often try to run their medical spas as parts of their surgical and dermatological practices without realizing that a medical spa requires a much different business model and perspective.

Non-core doctors, meanwhile, are aware that they don’t know about the medical aesthetic industry and are willing to work to learn about it. They tend to place their primary focus on their medical aesthetic practices, and they become part of the industry by fully participating in it and committing to it. They perform the treatments, build their brands, undergo business training—in other words, they experience all the aspects of running a medical spa. Whether through education or trial and error, they try to learn how to run medical spas effectively. They know they need to have patients in order to survive, which is something many core doctors tend to overlook—if a medical spa associated with a surgical practice doesn’t make money, it’s not a major problem because the surgical practice is where the real money is. If a medical spa is a physician’s primary focus, though, he or she must learn to adapt quickly, and that’s why non-core doctors have experienced significant success in the medical aesthetic industry in recent years.

Of the top 10 medical spas that I know of in the country, none are run by core doctors—they’re run by either non-core doctors or entrepreneurs, most of whom partner with non-core doctors as their medical directors.

In the face of this, core doctors have begun to express concern about the quality of the treatments provided by non-core doctors and, honestly, they have a point. After all, you probably wouldn’t want to be one of the early patients at a medical spa that’s run by a non-core doctor who is new to the industry. However, at the same time, why would you want to go to a core doctor’s medical spa that’s connected to a surgical practice, where your treatment is viewed as an afterthought?

Non-core doctors are affecting the industry in ways that few could have foreseen. When I speak to core doctors at conferences such as Vegas Cosmetic Surgery, I tell them that they’ve fallen behind when it comes to medical spas, and that they need to start considering their medical spas as discrete businesses or else they’re going to be pushed out of the industry. Some core doctors understand this, and when they implement this philosophy into their medical spas, they’ll likely be surprised by how much more money they make.

However, as of now, the medical aesthetic industry belongs to the non-core doctors, and it’s up to the core doctors to catch up and reclaim what was once theirs.

If you would like to learn more about the legal issues surrounding your medical spa, attend The Medical Spa Show this coming February in Las Vegas, NV. 

Tags:  Business and Financials  Med Spa Trends 

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Can an Esthetician Do It?

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, November 20, 2018

By Patrick O’Brien, J.D., Legal Coordinator for the American Med Spa Association

The services that medical spas offer can range between traditional spa beauty treatments to cosmetic medical procedures. Just as medical practitioners have developed less invasive procedures to offer in their practices, so too have cosmetologists and estheticians adopted more invasive procedures. As discussed previously (and here), this can create issues when these procedures fall into the practice of medicine without a license or without proper delegation an oversight. 

The traditional scope of esthetician practice is usually limited to beautifying procedures and applications that do not invade the living tissue. Typically, living tissue ends up being defined as the stratum corneum, the very top most layer of skin. This is the case in South Dakota, where estheticians are limited to only “non-invasive” procedures that are confined to the non-living cells of the stratum corneum. Similarly, North Dakota forbids estheticians from performing any invasive procedures. This limitation to the stratum corneum allows estheticians to perform many of the services offered in traditional spas, but many of the services a medical spa offers will be outside of their scope of practice. (For individual states, AmSpa Members can refer to your state’s summary here.)

The North Dakota Cosmetology Board mentioned above offers a guidance document you can access here which specifically prohibits their practitioners from performing laser use, CoolSculpting, any sort of injecting, microneedling that invades the live tissue, and chemical peels over a certain strength. These cover many of the most popular procedures that medical spas offer. And since estheticians are the most commonly employed licensee in many medical spas, this can create a temptation to practice beyond their scope. In response to this, many states have passed rules and regulations that provide a legal way for estheticians to extend the scope of their services. This process has taken multiple forms which broadly fall into two categories: 1) expanding their scope or practice or 2) providing rules allowing estheticians to perform medical procedures under physician guidance. However these changes can bring their own risks.

In Minnesota, the legislature passed a law creating an “advanced practice esthetics” license that allows licensees to perform procedures that effect the epidermis. This seems like a minor change, as the epidermis is made of primarily of the stratum corneum. The other two layers of the epidermis are significantly thinner. However, it is enough of a change that many formerly prohibited dermatologic procedures would be permitted within this new scope of practice. In this case, the adopted rules for Minnesota’s advanced practice esthetic license allow practitioners to perform dermaplaning, microdermabrasion, and to use electrical- and light-based skin care treatments. These advanced practice licensees are still prohibited from using lasers, but the other procedures encompass a significant percentage of medical spa offerings. Oregon also has an advanced practice esthetician license that allows license holders to perform “advanced non-ablative esthetic procedures” including, among others, laser-based skin rejuvenation and cellulite reduction. After earning this license the advanced practice esthetician is able to perform services without physician oversight. However, they do need to maintain a collaborative agreement with a medical professional if patients need to be referred. Although both the Oregon and Minnesota advanced licenses prohibit injections, they would still be a versatile licensee to have as part of a medical spa’s team. 

Other states have recognized that, although estheticians may have skills that complement more invasive medical procedures, they still need guidance and oversight of a medical licensee. States such as Wisconsin provide detailed rules for estheticians performing services that are medical procedures under physician supervision. A person licensed by the Wisconsin Board of Cosmetology may provide laser hair removal, microdermabrasion, and certain chemical exfoliation procedures; however, this can only take place in a licensed salon and under the delegation, supervision, and written protocols from a licensed physician. Similarly, Kentucky forbids estheticians from performing common medical spa procedures, such as Botox injections, laser treatments and microblading unless under the direct supervision of a physician. Here, direct supervision means within immediate distance to be able to respond to the patient if needed. These states and others like them attempt to strike a balance between expanding esthetician and cosmetologist’s scope of services and providing sufficient medical oversight.

Many states do not have the formalized rules or roles that allow estheticians expand their scope or perform more invasive procedures offered Minnesota, Wisconsin, or Kentucky. In some of these states, physicians may still be able to delegate procedures to other unlicensed individuals known as medical assistants. This may include people who hold esthetician licenses, but usually requires that they not hold themselves out as practicing under their license. Texas is one such state: Estheticians and cosmetologists may only provide their services in a licensed salon. Furthermore, physicians are unable to delegate cosmetology procedures to those licensees. However Texas law and its medical board do allow physicians to delegate certain procedures to others, including medical assistants. Since these procedures are not within an esthetician’s scope of practice, they could only perform them as an unlicensed medical assistant under the supervision of a physician.

Estheticians can be very valuable and versatile employees to a medical spa. They offer a wide variety of services that complement and enhance the other cosmetic medical procedures offered by licensed health care professionals. And in the states that offer expanded scopes of practice or advanced practice licenses, estheticians can even perform some of the more invasive procedures offered. It is, however, critical that medical spas operate well within the rules for delegation and licensees’ scope of practice. Even where the laws and rules are seemingly clear in allowing a procedure to be done by an esthetician, caution should still be exercised. When a physician’s supervision is required, there is always a requirement that the physician confirm that, in their professional judgment, the person has the appropriate training, skills, and experience to perform the procedures. Clearly this is a subjective standard, and the physician’s judgement in regard to what constituted sufficient training and skill would come under close scrutiny by the medical board if there were ever a complaint or adverse patient outcome reported. The physician’s license would depend on the board agreeing with the physician’s prior assessment and, when a patient has been harmed, the board may be less inclined to agree. On the other end of the relationship, if the physician is not providing sufficient oversight or is allowing the esthetician too much free reign, the esthetician could be made vulnerable to discipline from their own board for exceeding their scope of practice or subject to charges of practicing medicine without a license.

It is critical to every medical spa’s success and to the continued success of our industry as a whole that medical procedures are performed by properly trained and licensed people under appropriate supervision well within the rules and regulations of each state. If you would like to learn more about the legal issues surrounding your medical spa you may want to consider attending The Medical Spa Show this coming February in Las Vegas, NV. 

Tags:  Med Spa Law  Med Spa Trends 

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Understanding CoolSculpting and Your Med Spa

Posted By Administration, Monday, November 19, 2018

By Brad Adatto, JD, Partner, ByrdAdatto

Whether you’re an entrepreneur or a veteran business owner of a med spa, you know that business tends to run hot and cold. But does it really matter that business is hot when lifestyle preferences are cooling down? Literally. CoolSculpting is the growing phenomenon that is shifting a culture that was once obsessed with burning fat to freezing it.

CoolSculpting offers a fat reduction alternative to liposuction and a lifestyle alternative to diet and exercise by freezing and eliminating targeted fat cells using a process called cryolipolysis. The process is noninvasive, nonsurgical, and FDA approved. But make no mistake, there are still plenty of legal considerations to navigate before entering into one of the fastest growing practices in the country.

While the procedure is commonly referred to as a “cosmetic” treatment, CoolSculpting, or cryolipolysis, is considered the practice of medicine and a medical treatment in many states. Therefore, businesses must be extremely careful when navigating state laws regulating the practice of medicine, including the ownership and staffing of a CoolSculpting business.

Here’s what you need to know:

Ownership. You should develop your business and ownership model according to the laws of the state(s) in which you plan to practice. Because these laws vary from state to state, you need to know how to legally structure your CoolSculpting business and the type of liability that may be associated with the structure you choose.

You also need to know if there are any licensing restrictions on owning a business that renders medical services in the state(s). California, for example, limits the ownership of businesses that provide medical treatments to California-licensed physicians, but also allows partial ownership by a list of other non-physician health care providers, subject to strict and narrow business and ownership structure requirements.

The Practice of Medicine. What constitutes the practice of medicine or medical treatment varies from state to state, and these laws can be specific and nuanced to varying degrees. Therefore, you need to know whether CoolSculpting is considered the practice of medicine, and consequently a medical treatment, in your state. For example, Texas considers diagnosing a person as an appropriate candidate for a cosmetic medical procedure and giving orders for their treatment to be the practice of medicine.

Staffing. Medical professional scopes of practice not only vary from state to state, but also vary depending on the training, experience, and skill of a medical professional. Therefore, you need to know who can legally perform the treatment in your facility. It critical that state laws governing who can legally perform medical treatments, such as cryolipolysis, are not confused since many states only permit state-licensed physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and certain other licensed healthcare professionals to perform cryolipolysis, subject to state laws governing delegation and supervision.

Brad Adatto, JD, is a partner at ByrdAdatto, a business, healthcare, and aesthetic law firm that practices across the country. He 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, anti-trust, anti-kickback, anti-referral, and private securities laws.

Tags:  Business and Financials  Med Spa Law  Med Spa Trends 

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Critical Financial Numbers You Must Know

Posted By Administration, Friday, November 16, 2018

By Terri Ross, Managing Partner of Lasky Aesthetics

In order to maximize the profitability and success of your office, you need to take an accurate and realistic snapshot of where you are by the numbers.

  • Do you know your return-on-investment (ROI) for every procedure and treatment you offer?
  • What percent of patient leads do you retain?

Patient retention is directly linked to how well your front office staff listens, engages and responds.

In order to become a top-performing practice, every working part of your office or medical spa—the staff, systems, processes and protocols—must be performing at optimal speed. Be diligent and organized in your record-keeping. Take a quarterly snapshot of your office. If you know where you are, you can make a sustainable plan for future optimization and growth.

HERE ARE THE KEY NUMBERS YOU NEED TO KNOW:

Budget
  • Start-up costs – Property, building, equipment, technology, staff and marketing all go into start-up costs.
  • Payroll – When your business is off the ground, payroll makes up a large part of your bottom line. Know how much you pay your personnel, in wages, taxes/insurance and bonuses throughout the year.
  • Equipment – This includes initial cost, maintenance and materials required to run, update and optimize equipment.
  • Marketing – Any expense targeted toward attracting new patients falls into this category, from pamphlets, to website development and networking events.
ROI = (Gain – Cost) / Cost
  • Procedures – Know how much every procedure costs you to perform, including supplies, time and personnel involved. Your potential gain-per-procedure is based on these expenses.
  • Technology – Know how much a piece of new equipment costs to acquire and maintain. You’ll need to include maintenance and supply costs in your calculations of ROI for every piece of equipment in your office.
  • Marketing – Knowing your ROI on marketing strategies allows you to quantitatively measure how successful a specific marketing tactic is. Know how your patients found your office and why they return—online marketing, networking at the right events, etc. Read more about how to calculate your marketing ROI in this article from Forbes.
  • Website position – Know the numbers behind your website—how many people visit the site per day, what page they go to and stay on, what your bounce rate is, and modify from there.
Rates
  • Conversion/close rate – How many prospective patients do you “land?” How many are retained as long-term patients?
  • No show/cancellation rate – On average, how many patients make an appointment and don’t show? Or cancel in advance?
  • New patient rate – The number of new patients you bring in per month, year.
Room Revenue Assumptions
  • Number of rooms – Total number of procedure rooms.
  • Hours of operation – How many days are you open?
  • Average treatment price – Taking an average of all procedures offered, what is your average price?
  • Average length of procedure – On average, how long do your procedures take? This includes operating preparation.
  • Treatments per day – How many treatments do you complete per day? Are any days busier than others?
  • Revenue/hour – Based on the numbers above, what is your average revenue per hour?
Goals
  • New patients – Set a goal for number of new patients retained per quarter. Using the LAER model I developed, you can train your staff to engage, respond to and retain patients.
  • Revenue - Based on where you are, what is your projected revenue? Set your revenue goals and make the necessary changes (processes, protocols, staff) to get there.
  • Revenue/hour – To reach your revenue goals, how much do you need to generate per hour? Avg room should do between $600-$1000 per hour.
  • Price strategy (vs. competitors) – Based on your current and desired revenue, and keeping competitor pricing in mind, develop an informed and realistic price strategy.

How Does Your Office Look By The Numbers?

Do You Have Attainable Revenue Goals And The Infrastructure, Protocols And Staff In Place To Get You There?

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE ASSESSMENT BELOW & COMPLETE TERRI'S 10 POINT CHECK LIST.

Terri Ross is managing partner of Lasky Aesthetics & Laser Center, which she transformed from a $500,000 to a $3.5 million business in the span of three years. She is also the CEO of Terri Ross Consulting, providing high-level practice management consulting services and sales training to a number of high-profile physicians, including world-renowned plastic surgeon, Garth Fisher, MD, who started Extreme Makeover, and world-renowned facial plastic surgeon and host of the TV show Botched, Dr. Paul Nassif. Ross is an advisor for Revance Therapeutics, speaks for many companies, and works with venture capital firms to help start up medical spas. Her experience also spans the corporate world, with more than 16 years working as a sales director for several leading medical device companies, such as Zeltiq, launching Coolsculpting in the United States and Canada; Medicis (now Galderma); EMD Serono; and Johnson & Johnson.

Tags:  Guest Post 

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What Does the Recent Texas Botox Arrest Mean to You?

Posted By Administration, Thursday, November 15, 2018

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

As many have seen in the news recently, a Texas LVN named Michelle Bogle from Savvy Chic Medical Spa was arrested under the claim that she was practicing medicine without a license.; specifically, she was offering Botox injections. Although all of the facts about the case are not known, AmSpa wanted to take this time to review the rules in relation to delegating cosmetic medical procedures in Texas. The state of Texas is fairly liberal in who it allows to physically perform Botox and other injectable procedures. Anyone with proper training may inject Botox and other cosmetic injectable as long as it is under the protocols, supervision, and delegation of a physician. The Texas Medical Board has adopted Rule §193.17 (available here) to provide guidance to physicians who delegate these nonsurgical cosmetic procedures. The rule applies to nonsurgical cosmetic procedures, including injecting or using a prescription medical device performed by someone who is not otherwise licensed to perform the procedure and not a physician, PA, or NP.  The rule includes 13 points that physicians must adhere to in properly supervising and delegating such a procedure to anyone other than a physician assistant or a nurse practitioner. These include the following.

  1. A physician is responsible for being properly and appropriately trained in the specific procedure, and keep records documenting their training.  
  2. Before the procedure is performed, the physician or a PA or NP acting under their delegation must perform an initial examination. This examination must include: taking a history, performing a physical exam, making a diagnosis, recommending treatment, developing a treatment plan, obtaining a patient’s informed consent, and providing emergency and follow-up care instructions. They must also maintain medical records, and have signed and dated written protocols and standing orders for the procedure
  3. Following the above examination and diagnosis, the procedure can be delegated to another person as long as a PA, NP, or physician is on-site, or the delegating physician is available for emergency consultation and able to conduct an emergency appointment if necessary.
  4. The physician, regardless of who they delegate to, maintains ultimate responsibility for patient safety. 
  5. The physician is also responsible for documenting and maintaining the patient records. 
  6. The facility must have a quality assurance program in place, including mechanisms to identify complications, adhere to protocols, monitor the quality of treatments, a review and improvement mechanism for protocols, and ongoing training.
  7. Physicians can delegate procedures only at a facility where they have either approved of that facility’s written protocols for the procedure or they have developed their own protocols.
  8. The physician must also make sure that the delegated person has appropriate training in several areas related to performing procedures (see the rule for details).
  9. The physician must have in place a written office protocol for the delegated person to follow in performing the procedure.  his protocol must identify the delegating physician, criteria for the physician, PA, or NP to screen the patients, and description of appropriate follow-up care including for complications, injury, and emergencies.
  10. The physician must make sure that the delegated person follows that written office protocol.
  11. Patients must sign consent forms before receiving any treatment. The form must identify potential side effects, complications, and identity of who will perform the procedure.
  12. The delegated person who performs the procedure must have a name tag which discloses their name and their credentials. 
  13. The facility must have at least one person on-site who is trained in basic life support whenever a procedure is performed.

Each of these above points are necessary to be in compliance with the rule. However, this article is not meant to be an exhaustive compliance check rather to give more of an overview. So, if you are a physician planning on delegating such procedures to anyone other than a PA or NP, please carefully review the rule in total or consult with an attorney to ensure that you develop policies and procedures that are compliant with its requirements.   

The implications of this story are far-reaching. This is the second instance of an LVN being charged with the unauthorized practice of medicine in recent months as a result of an undercover sting operation (the other occurred in California). AmSpa encourages all of its members—particularly those in Texas—to ensure that they strictly comply with every step of the Texas delegation and supervision rules governing cosmetic procedures. Following each step specifically is critical, and practitioners must take care to pay very close attention to the specifics of the rule and follow it exactly. As now has been seen, failure to do so may result in criminal prosecution, not to mention action by the medical and/or nursing boards.

Tags:  Med Spa Law 

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Three Reasons Why Offering Payment Options helps to Strengthen Client Relationships

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Sponsored by CareCredit

Spa and med spa businesses are always looking to strengthen relationships with clients. How you connect with clients, solidifies credibility and trust that translates into continued financial success. However, a major challenge many businesses face is identifying the right strategies to help build long lasting relationships and overall reputation. One effective action plan can be to offer your clients payment options, like the CareCredit credit card. 

1. Provide transparency and build trust with your clients 

Offer your clients payment options that include special financing options like the CareCredit credit card, with no interest if paid in full within the promotional period*. This helps them identify how to pay, with a selected option that best fits their needs. With budget-friendly monthly payments, spa owners can also help clients choose service enhancements and add-ons without cutting the price of the service to show value. With a dedicated way to pay, clients will understand the pricing for their treatments, and trust their spa or med spa providers. This may also entice clients to elevate or increase services and return for follow up treatments. 

2. Offer payment options that help clients get the treatments and services they want, when they want them

Most spa clients may not have a fixed budget for covering the costs of the beauty, spa and wellness treatments that they want or need. The CareCredit credit card offers spa clients a convenient payment option so they can fit more spa services into their budget. Promotional financing options are available for purchases of $200 or more. CareCredit offers cardholders access to a calculator tool so they can easily review average monthly costs. In turn, clients will feel valued knowing their spa and med spa provider has their best interest in mind. 

3. Leverage payment options to promote your spa or med spa specials and exclusive offers 

Give your marketing materials an overhaul. Update exclusive offers and eblasts touting the latest and greatest offerings or promotional specials; and make them even more exciting by noting that the CareCredit credit card is a payment option for them. By offering value and information about a payment option with promotional financing options, clients will feel like they are receiving a special offer. As a result, they may schedule services and return visits.  

CareCredit works with more than 210,000 providers across a broad range of specialties including medical care, beauty, dental, optometry, hearing and veterinary services. With CareCredit’s 11 million cardholders, spa and med spa businesses can get connected to a new client base, while providing optimal service for current clients. 

Visit Carecredit.com/providercenter now to learn more and enroll so you too can offer your clients CareCredit as a preferred payment option.

*Subject to approval. Minimum monthly payments required.  See carecredit.com for details. 

**No interest will be charged on the promotional purchase if you pay the promotional purchase amount in full within the 6, 12, 18, or 24 month promotional period. If you do not, interest will be charged on the promotional purchase from the purchase date. If your purchase qualifies for a 24-month promotional offer, fixed monthly payments are required equal to 4.1667% of initial promotional purchase amount until promotion is paid in full. The fixed monthly payment will be rounded up to the next highest whole dollar and may be higher than the minimum payment that would be required if the purchase was a non-promotional purchase. For all other promotional offers, the regular minimum monthly payment terms of the account will apply. Regular account terms apply to non-promotional purchases and, after promotion ends, to promotional balance, except the fixed monthly payment will apply until the promotion is paid in full. For new accounts, Purchase APR (interest rate) is 26.99%. Minimum Interest Charge is $2. Existing cardholders should see their credit card agreements for their applicable terms. Subject to credit approval.

Tags:  Sponsored Content 

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How Skin Care Products Benefit Medical Spa Patients

Posted By Administration, Thursday, November 8, 2018

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

The most effective and marketable services offered by a medical spa will almost always be the treatments provided, running the gamut from microneedling, to laser skin resurfacing, to anti-aging treatments, such as Botox. Although these procedures draw patients in, offering skin care products can put your patients on the path to the best long-term results.

Skin Care Supporting Treatments

It should be no surprise that medical spa treatments designed to revitalize the skin can benefit from proper after-care.

“You’re doing your practice an injustice if you’re not sending the clients home with a product that’s going augment the results of the treatments they just came in for,” said Candace Noonan of Environ Skin Care.

After laser skin resurfacing, for example, doctors on RealSelf.com universally recommend emollients for the days immediately following treatment, with some also suggesting home-care treatments containing retinoids to aid in skin healing. After microneedling, RealSelf.com doctors recommend topicals that include a growth factor for improved results and faster healing.

Do your research and ask your skin care sales representatives what home care products will work best with your menu of services.

Skin Care as an Anti-Aging Treatment

Medical spa-based skin care is not limited to after-care. For patients concerned with procedures relating to skin health and/or anti-aging, medical-grade skin care products can be a treatment on their own. Although moisturizers and other skin products are widely available from drug stores and retail boutiques, these products are often very different than what medical spas are able to offer.

According to the FDA, with retail products, patients should be able to select and safely use the product using only the information available on the label. This means that off-the-shelf products need to be safe enough for a customer to self-diagnose and administer without the advice of a trained professional. As a result—although retail products may say they include similar ingredients the concentration of active ingredients—the ingredient concentration is often far lower, in order to ensure it can serve the widest population of people.

“Generally, brands that are sold in drugstores and department stores contain lower amounts of active ingredients so they’re irritation-free for a broad consumer base,” said Lucy Papa, executive vice-president of Canderm Pharma Inc., which sells both medical-grade and retail-grade skin care products.

Since a medical spa will select products specifically based on a patient’s unique needs and train the patient on proper use, these products will contain a higher concentration of active ingredients with clinically tested formulations that can deliver faster and better results.

“We have to look at things like bioavailability, how is it delivered to the skin, is the skin even able to absorb these ingredients,” said Noonan. “When choosing a skin care line … you have to be able to back it up with science as far as what’s actually going to work.”

The onus is on medical spa professionals to educate patients on the benefits of medical-grade skin care, not only with respect to supplementing procedures, but also as a treatment in itself. Selling skin care in your medical spa will not only lead to better results for your patients, but also for your business, as well.

Tags:  Med Spa Ownership  Med Spa Trends 

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AmSpa Member Spotlight with Alexa Nicholls Costa and Alexandra Rogers, NPs and Co-Founders of LexRx

Posted By Aly Boeckh, Wednesday, November 7, 2018

 

Take a tour through one of Boston's top med spas, LexRx, located in the Beacon Hill neighborhood of Boston. 

Co-Founders and Nurse Practitioners, Alexa Nicholls Costa and Alexandra Rogers share the success of running an injectables-only business in this member spotlight feature.

LexRx is a hyper-focused dermatology practice offering only injectable services, botox and dermal fillers. They are breaking the myth that you can't make money on injectables.

Check out the video playlist on Youtube to get the full walk through tour of their practice and learn about their secrets to success!

Alexa and Alex attended the Boston AmSpa Boot Camp in September 2018 to speak on the social media panel. They will also be speaking at The Medical Spa Show February 8-10, 2019 at the Aria Resort & Casino. Visit LexRx's Instagram account to view the available promo codes for attendance to The Medical Spa Show 2019 and AmSpa memberships.

Visit LexRx's website here.

Tags:  Member Spotlight 

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