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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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FTC Announces Enforcement Action Against IV Therapy Clinic for Misleading Advertising

Posted By Administration, Monday, October 1, 2018

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

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently announced their first ever enforcement action against a provider of intravenous therapy (IV therapy) for making unsupported claims about the health benefits of their IV treatments. You can read the complaint and press release by clicking here. But in brief the FTC alleges that iV Bar’s website contained multiple false, and unsubstantiated representations as to the clinical or scientific effectiveness of the treatments. Setting aside the merit of the FTC’s claims, this case does highlight a hidden danger of medical spa and IV bar ownership: advertising.

Advertising is a critical part of a successful med spa or IV therapy clinic. Effective advertising is vitally important in attracting new patients and informing existing patients of other services you offer. You want to let consumers know of your expertise, the benefits you can provide, and to distinguish your practice above your competitors. However, med spa and IV therapy clinic advertisements, as with other medical practices, fall under several layers of rules and regulations. Since advertising by its very nature is easily accessible out in the public sphere it makes it a simple matter for regulatory bodies to locate advertisements that violate the laws. Therefore it is beneficial for med spa and IV bar owners to have at least some familiarity with the limitations of what they can say in ads.

Read more about legal issues in medical spa advertising here.

Deceptive Practices Acts

In addition to the Federal Trade Commission Act, many states have adopted some form of a deceptive trade practices act designed to protect consumers from fraudulent and deceptive advertising and statements. These are usually enforced by the State’s attorney general and many provide private rights of action allowing the consumer to sue the business directly. For example the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act makes it a deceptive practice to represent that goods or services have approval, uses, benefits which they do not. Damages in the Texas statute can include compensation for economic and mental anguish and if the court finds that the conduct was “knowing” and “intentional” it can result in three times the economic and mental anguish damages being awarded to the consumer. 

Medical Licensing Boards

Med spas and IV therapy clinics are medical practices and as such will fall under their state’s rules for physician advertising and professional conduct. Many state Medical Practice Acts, including Florida’s, prohibit physicians from using false, deceptive, or misleading advertising or as is the case in New Hampshire claiming professional superiority. Even if not explicitly in the statutes, state medical board’s ethics rules and opinions often contain similar prohibitions. For a good general overview there are the American Medical Association’s ethics opinions such as this one which states, in part:

Because the public can sometimes be deceived by the use of medical terms or illustrations that are difficult to understand, physicians should design the form of communication to communicate the information contained therein to the public in a readily comprehensible manner. Aggressive, high pressure advertising and publicity should be avoided if they create unjustified medical expectations or are accompanied by deceptive claims. The key issue, however, is whether advertising or publicity, regardless of format or content, is true and not materially misleading.

Often, state medical disciplinary boards are influenced or adopt guidelines similar to the AMA’s.  
The business name you advertise under can also be subject to various rules. Several states, one such being California, prohibit a physician from doing business under a name different than their own unless they obtain a fictitious or assumed name registration. Still other states limit the use of words such as “spa”, “clinic”, or “medical” unless certain requirements are met or procedures offered.

AmSpa members can utilize their annual compliance consultation call with the law firm of ByrdAdatto to understand the medical advertising requirements in their particular state.

Conclusion

False, misleading, and deceptive. If you feel like you are seeing a trend you are right. Generally these laws and boards use similar language to protect consumers and patients. However the specific interpretation and implementation of these terms is not identical and one type of ad or commercial may be acceptable in one state and not in another. So before you launch a “too good to be true” campaign you would do well have it reviewed by your counsel or to read up on your jurisdiction’s advertising rules.  

Attend an AmSpa Medical Spa & Aesthetic Boot Camp to learn how to build and run a profitable, efficient, and legally compliant medical spa practice.

Patrick O'Brien grew up in west Texas loving the outdoors and Scouting, earning the rank of Eagle Scout. After attending Southwestern University, he worked in Margin trading with a major investment brokerage. There, he saw how yesterday’s decisions affect tomorrow, and learned how to proactively navigate situations to give clients the best possible outcome. This problem solving inspired his return to school and pursuit of a law degree from Southern Methodist University. He brings his legal training and business acumen to AmSpa to get ahead of legislative changes which affect our members. When he is not in the office he enjoys reading the same book to his toddler for literally the twentieth time today. But he laughs every time so it is worth it. He also loves cooking and spending time outdoors with his wife, son, and loyal hound.

Tags:  AmSpa's Med Spa & Aesthetic Boot Camps  Med Spa Law  Med Spa Trends 

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SkinPen® Remains the Only FDA-Cleared Device for Microneedling

Posted By Administration, Monday, September 10, 2018
Sponsored Content: Bellus Medical

Aesthetic medical providers beware: The FDA codified its classification order for microneedling, likely putting practices using non-cleared devices at greater risk.

“In many medical device liability cases, a doctor is shielded from liability when properly using a cleared and compliant device, since the FDA review and clearance would ensure all likely hazards are controlled,” said Marc C. Sanchez, an FDA attorney who worked on Bellus Medical’s microneedling De Novo submission. “That defense is totally washed away when using an unapproved medical device.”

As of March 1, there is only one FDA-cleared microneedling device: SkinPen® by Bellus Medical. According to Sanchez, the classification order makes all non-cleared microneedling devices of any kind subject to enforcement actions, such as refusing entry for imported derma rollers and pens as well as issuing warning letters to non-compliant manufacturers.

Read Sanchez’s post on FDA Atty to learn more about the classification order and the new risks for doctors and aestheticians.

Click here for more information on Bellus Medical, and click here to read more about the SkinPen® in AmSpa’s medical spa treatment directory.
 

Tags:  Med Spa Trends  Sponsored Content 

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Which Procedures Count As the Practice of Medicine in a Medical Spa?

Posted By Administration, Thursday, August 30, 2018

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

Determining the distinction between medical and non-medical treatments is perhaps the defining issue of the medical aesthetic industry and, in many cases, that distinction is not as clear-cut as all involved would like it to be—what’s legal in one state might not be in another, for example. (AmSpa members can check their medical aesthetic legal summary to find this information.)

Medical spas, unlike most plastic surgeons’ offices and traditional doctors’ offices, make a lot of their money from offering non-medical treatments—such as facials, chemical peels, and aesthetician services—in addition to medical services. In fact, aesthetician services typically are among the top three treatments offered by most medical spas according to the AmSpa 2017 Medical Spa State of the Industry Survey. Many people begin their experience with a medical spa by partaking of these non-medical treatments before moving on to more invasive solutions so, needless to say, these services can be extremely valuable to a medical aesthetic business.

It is extremely important for employees of a medical spa to understand which procedures they perform are medical in nature so that they can approach them accordingly. If an aesthetician can perform a procedure by him- or herself, costs are much lower and margins are likely much higher; when you move into the medical realm, however, you must involve a physician, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant, and you must follow medical protocol and regulations. Costs go up, record-keeping requirements are far greater, patient privacy becomes an issue, and on and on.

For more information on proper medical spa procedures see AmSpa’s webinars on supervision and delegation, patient-charting requirements, and much more.

Some general guidelines can help determine what is and is not a medical procedure.

Baseline Rule

The baseline rule is that anything that impacts living tissue is considered medical. Generally speaking, if you’re doing something that goes beneath the outer dead layers of skin—known as the stratum corneum—you can assume that you are engaging in the practice of medicine. 

Exceptions

However, there are some exceptions to this rule. In several states, laser hair removal is the subject of certifications and rules that place it at least adjacent to the medical realm, despite the fact that it does not penetrate the skin. 

Additionally, microneedling, one of the trendiest procedures in the business, has been determined to be medical in nature by all the regulatory agencies that have looked at it, despite the fact that in many cases, the needles are set to a depth that does not actually penetrate the stratum corneum. Regardless, the fact that metal needles are the tools being used makes this a medical procedure in the eyes of the law in many cases.

Finally, subdermal fat-removing treatments, such as SculpSure and CoolSculpting, which don’t involve any sort of conventional laser use or invasiveness, still should be considered medical, even though the matter hasn’t as yet been widely investigated by state boards. There is very little doubt in my mind that as soon as an influential state board looks at them, it will determine these treatments to be medical in nature because they affect living tissue; therefore, you must observe medical protocol when performing them.

Beyond these general guidelines, AmSpa can help you determine what is and is not considered a medical procedure in your state. Use our website to keep up with the latest regulatory updates and, join us for an upcoming Medical Spa & Aesthetic Boot Camp (Boston in September, Nashville in October, and Orlando in November), to learn everything you need to know to keep your medical spa compliant and successful.

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

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Fillers For Your Other Lips?

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, August 29, 2018

By Emerald Gutierrez, RN, Certified First Assist in Cosmetic Surgery & Aesthetics

What may surprise you is that more women have problems when it comes to sex than men. Some 43% of women say they’ve experienced sexual dysfunction at some stage of their lives compared to 31% of men.

Sexual dysfunction in both men and women can result in a reduction in sexual intimacy in a relationship, which may then negatively affect family life and self-esteem. We need to keep in mind that female sexual arousal is multifactorial, often with psychological and emotional as well as physical factors, so there is no one ‘magic bullet’ treatment.

When sex becomes more painful than pleasure, don’t lose hope. Explore the below treatments and turn up the heat between the sheets.

The Challenge: Vaginal thinning & dryness; painful sex
The Treatment: Filler or PRP Injection
(Plasma-rich Protein) also nicknamed as the “O” or “O-Shot”

Recommended Treatments: Three every 4 weeks
Down time: None
Pain: None


Regeneration of this area leads to increased sensitivity and better orgasms. It is very safe as we use your own body products with minimal risks of bruising and infection.
-Emerald Gutierrez, R.N
Certified First Assist in Cosmetic Surgery & Aesthetics.

Platelet-rich plasma (PRP), where your platelets are separated from blood and then injected back into the body is traditionally given to stimulate collagen in the face but in recent years this treatment has been found to have benefits for genital areas too. It’s been nicknamed the ‘O shot’ as it’s said to improve sensitivity and the ability to orgasm. PRP tricks the body into believing it has been injured so it releases stem cells which regenerate tissue and we find it can help with everything from the skin condition sclerosis to stress incontinence and sexual dysfunction such as inability to climax.





The Challenge: Vaginal looseness
The Treatment: The Votiva, Radio Frequency by InMode

Recommended Treatments: Three every 4 weeks
Down time: None
Pain: None



Votiva is beneficial for therapeutic use in the treatment of sexual dysfunction or as an adjunct to Kegel exercises (tightening of the muscles of the pelvic floor to increase muscle tone). This treatment delivers gentle, thermal internal tissue remodeling of the genitals that is safe, effective, and in-demand. This is a comfortable treatment that provides uniform radio frequency heating of the internal vaginal tissue and external vulvar laxity or labial hypertrophy.

Labiaplasty
If time, genetics or childbirth has resulted in embarrassment, discomfort or intimacy issues due to the size and shape of your labia, labiaplasty procedure may be a good option for you.

Labiaplasty is a one to two hour surgical procedure designed to sculpt the external vaginal structures by reducing and/or reshaping long or uneven labia. Childbirth, the aging process and the effects of gravity may all erode the beauty of the female genitalia including the labia minora, labia majora, clitoral hood and perineum.
  • Experience a more youthful look in the vaginal area
  • Feel Improved sexual gratification and Increased friction during intercourse
  • Enhance vaginal muscle tone, strength, and control
  • Quick recovery- risks in surgery are extremely rare, and are seen in less than 1% of cases

Emerald Gutierrez has been a Registered Nurse for 18 years. Her experience includes Emergency Dept., In-and Out-Patient Operating Room/Recovery Room, Plastics, Oncology, Women’s Health, GI, Nurse Educator, and Director of Nursing. She began her role as a Beverly Hills Cosmetic Nurse/Nurse consultant when she moved to Los Angeles to obtain her RNFA degree (Registered Nurse First Assist), and her CNOR (Certified Nurse Operating Room) from UCLA. Since then, she has received training from some of the top prestigious and world renowned Cosmetic Surgeons, with most of them appearing on “Dr. Oz”, “The Doctor’s,” “Botched”, and “E Entertainment”.

Tags:  Glam RN Beverly Hills  Med Spa Trends 

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Subscriptions: The Next Level of Membership Programs

Posted By Administration, Friday, August 17, 2018

By Michael S. Byrd, JD, Partner at the law firm of ByrdAdatto

Med spa patient loyalty and retention is one of the biggest concerns among med spa owners, according to the 2017 Medical Spa State of the Industry Report. The report also states that fully 55% of medical spa practices have instituted some sort of membership program. Paid membership programs can be a valuable tool to increase customer retention as long as you are keeping up your standard of care, and these programs can also be a huge help in gathering operating capital up-front and projecting future income.

“This membership model built Skin Body Soul,” says Brandon Robinson, founder of Skin Body Soul Spa. Robinson believes that paid memberships help to bring in patients that are willing to commit to the spa as much as the spa is committed to the patients.

Subscription billing for products flips the traditional product purchase model on its head. Rather than purchase a product, consumers purchase the right to use the product. Netflix and Spotify embody the power of this business model.

On January 17, 2016, Forbes magazine published an article titled  How the Subscription Economy is Disrupting the Traditional Business Model. Tien Tzuo, CEO of Zuora, points out that in this model the emphasis must be on the consumer experience and relationship.  Tzuo states, “Remember that subscriptions are relationships, and relationships are a two-way street!”

With the success of the subscription billing model for products, the question becomes whether this model can work with professional services. The aesthetic industry has seen a shift toward providing non-invasive services on a subscription basis. HintMD, a technology startup based in Silicon Valley, developed a dynamic subscription platform to enable medical aesthetic professionals to offer their services via a subscription offering. 

Aubrey Rankin, CEO of HintMD, says, “Our aesthetic subscription platform not only enables consumers to gain access to high-end aesthetic services and providers, but more importantly makes it easier for patients to commit to their prescribed treatment plan. By a patient simply following their treatment plan, a true win-win situation is created. Patients achieve optimal treatment outcomes through the ease of a predictable monthly subscription payment, and the aesthetic practice sees an increase in patient loyalty, which ultimately drives growing practice revenues.”

Our law firm, ByrdAdatto, has offered legal services on a subscription billing model for several years to our larger clients, and in January 2017, our firm expanded the subscription billing model to provide access to our smaller business clients as well. The adoption of this subscription business model by our clients far surpassed our expectations.

The goal with ours was to provide options for our clients in choosing how to pay for legal services. A little over a year since the roll-out, our Access+ subscription billing platform now represents close to 50% of our monthly revenues.

For organizations considering a transition to a subscription billing model, the following must be considered:

  • The subscription billing model does not replace the need to provide excellent services; rather, it emphasizes the need to deepen the relationship with clients.
  • Defining the scope of covered services becomes imperative.
  • Key performance indicators to measure the success of your business dramatically change.
  • Plan your cash management in the transition process.

Subscription billing is not for everyone, so proceed with caution before completely switching to this billing platform.

If you believe you are ready to switch, but are looking for somewhere to start check out Ten Steps to Developing & Launching Medi Spa Memberships in the AmSpa Store.

ByrdAdatto represents physician practices, dental practices, law firms, medical spas, and other professional services companies throughout the United States. AmSpa members can take advantage of an annual compliance consultation call with the firm.

If you have any questions regarding your business model, need assistance with designing corporate structure, or merger and acquisition activity, feel free to reach out to us at mgire@byrdadatto.com or call 773-831-4692.

Michael S. Byrd , JD, is a partner with the law firm of ByrdAdatto. With his background as both a litigator and transactional attorney, Michael brings a comprehensive perspective to business and health care issues. He has been named to Texas Rising Stars and Texas Super Lawyers, published by Thompson Reuters, for multiple years (2009-2016) and recognized as a Best Lawyer in Dallas by D Magazine (2013, 2016).

 

Tags:  AmSpa's 2017 Med Spa Statistical Survey  Business and Financials  Med Spa Law  Med Spa Trends 

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Are Botox Parties Legal? Are They Worth It?

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, August 14, 2018

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

Botox parties are a common topic in med spa law because of how lucrative they can be, but are they legal?

One thing I love about the med spa industry is that med spa owners and providers are continuing to innovate. The ideas that come from AmSpa members on marketing, branding, and business always leave me impressed. This is one reason why it is so difficult to keep track of what’s legal and what’s not - many of the ideas we are asked about are brand new. They’ve never been tested before, and therefore it’s difficult, if not impossible, to determine where the legal constraints are.

While not new, Botox parties are an innovation like this. These are events hosted by a med spa or a provider, either at the med spa or another location, where people get together to socialize, learn about treatments, and try new treatments. Often the med spa provides discounts on product so that they can get new patients in the door. Often alcohol is served. These are highly social events that mix pleasure with aesthetics, which makes the idea of getting injected with a needle a little more palatable.

A question I get all the time, though, is whether these events are legal, particularly when they are held outside of the med spa (at someone’s house or a salon). And the question that always follows - is it worth it?

The answer to both of these questions is yes - it is absolutely legal (in most states - sorry, Nevada*), and it is ABSOLUTELY worth it. But like most things in this industry, both of these answers are dependent upon you adhering strictly to the law. No amount of money is worth losing your license, and, yes, I have seen nurses lose their licenses because of improperly hosted Botox parties. AmSpa members can check their medical aesthetic legal summary to find the law regarding Botox parties in their particular state.

The primary point to remember is that when you provide any medical treatment off site all the same rules apply. New patients must be seen by a doctor, nurse practitioner (NP), or physician assistant (PA) prior to being treated. Proper records must be kept. Consents must be signed. Before and After photos should be taken. Everything that you are required to do legally in your med spa should be done at the Botox party.

Additionally, check with your insurance carrier before the party to ensure that you have coverage for offsite treatments, and double check local ordinances regarding serving alcohol - sometimes a permit is required.

Initial Exam

The biggest risk at Botox parties, or any social event involving med spa treatments, is that a patient will be treated by an RN without first seeing the doctor (or NP/PA). All patients must be seen first so that a plan can be set. This can ONLY be done by an MD, or by an NP or PA operating under proper authority. Indeed, even if the patient consents to being treated by the RN without first seeing the doctor, that does not allow the RN to inject the patient without the patient first seeing a doctor.

At Botox parties this can be difficult because there are new patients socializing, there is sometimes alcohol being consumed, and everyone is more relaxed. This is a step that MUST be followed, though, because an RN cannot practice medicine, and therefore the RN cannot legally perform the initial assessment, establish the physician-patient relationship, and set a treatment plan. There are no exceptions to this rule.

Patient Consent

Equally as important is obtaining patient consents, including privacy waivers given that treatments are usually performed out in the open. And providers should be mindful of patients consuming alcohol. While not strictly illegal, we all know that alcohol makes people less inhibited and often clouds judgment. This is NOT good when it comes to patient consent. All patients should offer consent before they begin drinking, and the drinking should be kept to a minimum. This is not always easy, but trust me, if there’s an adverse outcome you’ll wish that alcohol was not involved.

Patient Privacy

Also be mindful of photos and social media. These events are a great way to market your med spa - people are having fun, everyone is happy, and you remove much of the clinical aspects of aesthetic medicine. Be careful, however, when photos or videos are posted - every patient is entitled to privacy, and if any patient has failed to sign a privacy release and an authorization to use their photos, there is a risk of a breach of patient privacy.

Are They Worth It?

So the fact that these events are legal begs the question - is it worth it? The answer is emphatically yes, provided you strictly adhere to legal guidelines. Botox parties and social events are a great way to get new clients introduced to your practice, pre-book treatments, and bring in some cash. To get started setting up your own events check out the Secrets to Successful Event Planning in the AmSpa Store.

The usual protocol is to offer discounts on treatments and pre-bookings (both for injectables and laser packages), provided they are purchased that night. Patients are encouraged to bring friends and colleagues to meet the providers and learn more about aesthetics. Depending on the size of the event, it is not uncommon for a practice to bring in six figures worth of treatments and bookings - in one day.

Even that kind of money isn’t worth losing your license, though, so be careful and diligent with your compliance efforts.

I urge you to move cautiously when it comes to planning and hosting one of these events. Do your homework and ensure compliance is in place. Go easy on the alcohol. Make sure you’ve got proper insurance. If you have any questions whatsoever, consult with a qualified lawyer ahead of time so that all of the proper documentation is in place, the needed personnel are available, and all the rules are followed.

For more information on running your med spa legally and profitably, attend one of AmSpa’s Medical Spa & Aesthetic Boot Camps, and become the next med spa success story.

*Nevada recently passed a law restricting the injection of Botox and fillers to a doctor’s office, essentially banning the ability to host Botox parties.

Tags:  AmSpa's Med Spa & Aesthetic Boot Camps  Med Spa Law  Med Spa Trends 

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3 Reasons Med Spa Industry Growth is Only Just Beginning

Posted By Administration, Friday, August 3, 2018

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

The med spa industry is booming, but is this growth a fad or does it represent a long-term business opportunity?

There are few industries with as much potential as the med spa industry. When you look at the age demographics in relation to the advancements in technology being used in the medical spa industry, it is easy to see why. AmSpa’s 2017 Medical Spa State of the Industry Report takes a deep dive into industry trends, but here we examine three factors behind the industry’s explosive growth: technology, social media, and population trends.

Technology

Technology is key to current med spa growth because in the past 15 years, advancements in non-surgical (i.e. non-invasive) treatments that make people look and feel better about themselves made these treatments widely available and affordable. Botox injections, laser resurfacing, and body contouring have allowed people to keep their youth without going to the gym or undergoing expensive surgery with substantial downtime. As long as technology allows people to turn back the hands of time in an easy and (relatively) pain free manner, there will be a market.

Social Media

Because social media has become so pervasive, many people are more comfortable with the idea of receiving a cosmetic treatment. Seeing videos of procedures, oftentimes live with their favorite social media personality, lessens the stigma and uneasiness associated with receiving a med spa treatment. People often show up for treatments without any questions or reservations because they’ve experienced the procedure already through social media.

AmSpa members should check their state’s medical aesthetic legal summary for more information on a med spa’s patient privacy responsibilities with regard to social media.

Millennials and Beyond

Finally, the rise of the millennial and post-millennial population, combined with aging Gen X’ers, has created a perfect storm for the med spa industry. While the majority of med spa clients are in their mid-thirties to forties, the millennial population has shown a willingness to spend money on themselves, their appearance, and experiences. Med spas are creating a perfect environment for this population by making their environments an exclusive “experience” that makes clients feel special. And given that Millennials are only just starting to purchase med spa treatments and are poised to take over as the largest percentage of the U.S. population, imagine what the med spa market will look like in, say, 10 years when Millennials are actually showing signs of aging? Right now, Millennials go to med spas for ‘preventative’ treatments, i.e. to stop the wrinkles from ever forming.

Moreover, the generation behind the Millennials (called “post-millennials” or “Gen Z”) is even bigger than the Millennial population. Accordingly, there is serious potential for the medical spa market to continue to grow for years to come.

Attend an AmSpa Medical Spa & Aesthetic Boot Camp to find out how to build your practice legally and set your business up for long term, sustainable success.

Tags:  AmSpa's Med Spa & Aesthetic Boot Camps  Med Spa Trends 

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How Aesthetician Services Can Benefit Your Medical Spa

Posted By Administration, Thursday, July 19, 2018

By: Alex R. Thiersch, JD, Founder/Director of the American Med Spa Association (AmSpa)

While medical spa services command higher prices than traditional spa treatments, medical spa owners and operators shouldn’t overlook aesthetician services. These can be lucrative opportunities for added services for your patients, increasing both retention and profitability of your med spa practice.

What Can Aestheticians Do For You?

According to the American Med Spa Association’s 2017 Medical Spa State of the Industry Report, aesthetician services were one of the leading revenue-generators in medical spas. These treatments can include facials, aesthetician-grade chemical peels, and waxing, to name a few. This category also includes Hydrafacials, which is one of the fastest-growing treatments in medical spas regardless of practitioner type.

Some Caveats

In many states, treatments such as microneedling and dermaplaning are considered to be the practice of medicine. Because of this, they should only be done by a licensed medical professional. However, there are some situations in which a person holding an aesthetician license may perform these procedures.


Microblading is also a treatment that individuals holding aesthetician licenses perform in many states. State laws can vary regarding this procedure, but it is often categorized as permanent makeup and, with some additional training, these practitioners can often offer this service in medical spas.

Contact an attorney familiar with medical aesthetic laws in your state for more information on microneedling, dermaplaning, or microblading. (AmSpa members can take advantage of their annual complimentary compliance consult with the law firm of ByrdAdatto, or check their medical aesthetic state legal summary.)

Legal Requirements
To add these aesthetician services to your medical spa, first be sure that the practitioners you hire are properly licensed to perform these treatments. This should be of paramount importance for all of your service providers, whether offering beauty services or medical treatments. In-depth training and proper licensure ensures that your patients are getting the best possible services and results, and also protects your staff and business against fines and other punishments from regulatory agencies.Your business will also need to obtain an establishment license for these procedures, and that license must be displayed in your facility during business hours. Additionally, be sure to double check with your insurance-provider to make sure you are covered to offer these additional treatments. Assuming that your other business housekeeping is in order (LLC, tax ID, etc.), you should now be set to offer another tier of services to your clients.

For more information on medical spa legal best-practices attend one of AmSpa’s Medical Spa & Aesthetic Boot Camps.

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

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Long-Term Medical Spa Market Research: Generation Z

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, March 7, 2018

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

The industry impact of Millennials as medical spa patients is just beginning to be felt, as “The Selfie Generation” currently accounts for about 20% of aesthetic patients. As this demographic ages it promises to offer a lot of potential clients as the growth of social media has led to increased comfort with the idea of medical aesthetic treatments, causing the average age of first treatments to plummet for many procedures. For all of the possibilities presented by this age group, the digital natives of Generation Z present even an greater opportunity in the long run.

Generation Z is typically defined as beginning with people born in the mid-to-late 1990s, so the oldest Zers are currently in their late teens. It may be difficult for many of us to imagine, but most of Generation Z cannot remember a time before 9/11. They grew up in a world where the U.S. has always been at war, where a crippling recession caused by corporate greed cost millions of people their jobs and livelihoods, and where deep-seated political turmoil is a fact of life. 

They’ve been raised on technology and know how to use social media more effectively than anyone else, but while Millennials are (probably unfairly) seen as being more passive and self-interested, Generation Z seems determined to fix the problems caused by those who came before. It also is worth pointing out that Generation Z is a larger group than the Millennials.

Of course, it also should be noted that they also have very short attention spans, and their independent mind-sets can sometimes lead to problems, but these quirks are part of the package and, sooner or later, everyone is going to need to learn how to deal with it.

In the context of the medical aesthetic industry—and every other business, quite frankly—it is important to learn what matters to Generation Zers. Today, the majority of marketing is still directed at Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Millennials, and for good reason, since these groups are the ones that are earning (or have earned) money to spend. But in the very near future, Generation Z is going to be flexing its financial muscle and, when it does, it’s going to make an enormous impact on the economy.  Therefore, it is up to businesspeople to do whatever they can to find out how best to market to Zers.

Unfortunately, that information isn’t necessarily available yet, since Generation Z is only now beginning to enter the workforce en masse, but medical spa owners and operators should at the very least be aware of the seismic shift that may be on the way and do whatever they can to keep track of emerging trends in Gen Z business. AmSpa will of course be following this story from a medical aesthetic perspective, and you should check out publications such as Inc to learn about broader business trends.

Businesspeople underestimate these young people at their peril, so be sure to learn all you can about them.

Tags:  Med Spa Trends 

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