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Are Botox Parties Legal? Are They Worth It?

Posted By Administration, 1 hour ago

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.

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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Top 5 Most Popular Med Spa Treatments

Posted By Aly Boeckh, Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Just how well do you know the medical spa industry and the clients that you serve? Would you be surprised to learn that Chemical Peels are the number one service provided in a medical spa? AmSpa's 2017 Medical Spa State of the Industry Report is here to help you decide on which treatments to offer, and how you can receive the biggest return on your investment.

Come to an AmSpa Medical Spa & Aesthetic Boot Camp for more business and legal insights and best-practices.

Let's take a look at the Top 5 Most Popular Medical Spa Treatments:

1. Chemical Peels

A chemical peel is a technique used to improve the appearance of the skin on the face, neck or hands. A chemical solution is applied to the skin that causes it to exfoliate and eventually peel off. The new, regenerated skin is usually smoother and less wrinkled than the old skin.

2. Aesthetician Services  

Aesthetician services involve skin care and beauty treatments such as facials, makeup applications, and hair removal through electrolysis, waxing or other techniques.

3. Botox and Filler Injections

The injection of botulinum toxin--commonly known as Botox, Dysport or Xeomin-- has become very popular for reducing wrinkles and rejuvenating the aging face. First granted U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval to treat frown lines in 2002, Botox remains one of the most popular cosmetic procedures on the market, and its popularity continues to rise.

4. Microdermabrasion

Microdermabrasion skin rejuvenation is used as a method of exfoliation, as well as to treat light scarring, discoloration and sun damage, and stretch marks. Treatments include using a minimally abrasive instrument to gently sand your skin, removing the thicker, uneven outer layer.

5. Photo-facial pulsed light (IPL)

Intense-pulsed light (IPL) is a technology used in various skin treatments, including hair removal and photofacials. A handheld flashgun is passed across the skin, delivering a spectral range of light that targets the hair or skin issue. These types of treatments may also be called laser skin rejuvenation, photorejuvenation, or laser resurfacing.

Here's an infographic from the report that shows how all Medical Spa treatments measure up. 

AmSpa members receive a complimentary copy of the report's executive summary. Join today and receive your copy!

Tags:  AmSpa's 2017 Med Spa Statistical Survey  Med Spa Trends 

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