Opening an aesthetic medical practice as a non-physician can be incredibly daunting. Having your finger on the pulse of all state and federal regulations is of the utmost importance. To make your journey a bit easier, we’ve outlined some essential items you need to consider prior to starting your development process.
Understand All Applicable Health and Medical Laws & Regulations
Medical spas, wellness centers, or any aesthetic medical clinic are highly regulated. Strict compliance with all applicable laws and regulations is mandatory. Non-compliance with any of these laws or regulations can result in the total loss of your investment.
Warning: In most states, if you are not a client of a law firm, you cannot rely upon a legal opinion written by that law firm unless a) the opinion states you can rely upon it or b) the legal opinion is specifically addressed to you. Thus, in most states, unless you meet the above exceptions, you cannot rely upon a legal opinion addressed to a franchisor which states that the franchise system being offered is compliant with all health and medical laws and regulations. Therefore, you always need a healthcare attorney specific to your business engagement.
Protecting Your Other Assets Should be a Primary Consideration
Elective cosmetic and aesthetic medicine can be exceptionally profitable, but it does involve the practice of medicine. Medicine is part science and part art. Mistakes will happen, trusted employees become untrusted, you cannot meet everyone’s expectations. No matter how good you are at handling difficult people, you will be sued. Insurance companies are in the business of collecting premiums, not paying claims. To protect your other assets, planning must be done prior to the execution of any franchise or launch of a new business.
State Regulations Governing the Practice of Medicine
If the operation of a spa, center or clinic involves medical procedures (as defined in each state), those procedures must be performed by, or under the supervision of, a licensed physician (or in some states—a mid-level practioner). Each state has different regulations concerning which procedures can be supervised by, and which must be performed by, a licensed physician. There are different types of supervision, including general supervision, direct supervision and personal supervision.
Warning: What is legal today may not be legal tomorrow. You should plan your business for the strictest possible regulation in your state.
Join us next week for part 2 where we will uncover the corporate practice of medicine, management services organizations, fee splitting, medical directors, and much more.