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Top 5 Things You Need to Know Before Starting a Med Spa

Posted on February 3, 2020

The medical spa (also known as med spa or medi-spa) market has been thriving with growing demand and strong margins.  The strong market potential has attracted the attention of healthcare professionals and entrepreneurs.   But unlike spas that offer massages and other treatments, med spas also provide medical services, and therefore are under more scrutiny.  There have been several publicized court cases in the country associated with ownership, staff, and operations of med spas.   Med spa laws and regulations differ by state, so it is crucial to clearly understand the legalities before getting involved in a med spa business.   Here are 5 key things you will need to know before getting into the med spa business in the state of Florida.   1. Medical Professional Supervision Unlike many states, Florida permits not only physicians or medical professionals to own med spas, but also business professionals or entrepreneurs who don’t necessarily have a background in the medicine or business.  However, Florida med spas must be supervised by a licensed healthcare professional, typically a physician with a related medical background.  The licensed healthcare professional muse be responsible for all medical decisions for the business, including hiring licensed healthcare service providers.  Regardless of whether the physician maintain ownership in the business, he or she cannot operate as an absentee medical director; the medical director must be “hands on” and responsible for medical operations.   2. Medical Professional with Relevant Experience The medical professional charged with supervising the med spa operations must also have the proper training and experience.  Even though a cardiologist or OB/GYN may have extensive qualifications as a medical doctor, he or she would not be appropriate to run the med spa,   supervise, or even provide med spa-type aesthetic medical services.   3. Licensed, Qualified, and Supervised Healthcare Service Providers  The healthcare professionals providing services at med spas must have the appropriate licensure, training, as well as physician supervision.  Potential problems result when physicians delegate services to staff members who are either unlicensed or unqualified.  Licensed employees at med spas must follow the specific state regulations as to which types of procedures or treatments they are permitted to provide.  These state statutes also dictate the required level of physician supervision for various procedures.  For example, physician assistants (PAs) are permitted to perform a variety of procedures but nurse practitioners (NPs) can only provide a subset of services. In Florida, registered or certified nursing assistants are not permitted to provide injections or administer medicine.    4. Employee Compensation   Carefully consider how you plan to remunerate employees, especially if you are considering paying based on a percentage of collections, also known as fee splitting.  State regulations typically require that only physicians or physician-owned corporations (including physicians who provide services at med spas) collect fees from medical services provided at med spas and they are normally prohibited from splitting these fees with non-licensed employees.   5. Compliance with Regulations  It is critical for the med spa to operate in compliance with all regulations.  Failure to operate the business according to the state laws and regulations may result in significant fines, sanctions, and even loss of a medical license.  The best way you can ensure that your business will be in complete compliance with state regulations is to consult with a reputable Florida attorney with extensive experience in healthcare business law.   ECanter Lawyers Healthcare business owners as well as physicians face unique regulations as they form, purchase or sell practices or ancillary businesses. At ECanter Lawyers, we have the necessary legal expertise to properly assist clients with the purchase or sale of medical-related practices in Florida. In addition, our firm assists with the drafting, review, and the negotiation process of medical and healthcare related contracts, including:   • Entity Formation • Structural Compliance • Ownership Documents • Medical Directorships • Sales & Purchases – Space Leases • Buy-ins & Buy-outs  561-447-4500  Boca Raton | West Palm Beach | Coral Springs | Ft. Lauderdale | Sunrise

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