Medical Spa Raises Legal Questions About Scope

Medical Spa Raises Legal Questions About Scope

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    In today’s video, we discuss key legal issues faced by a recent medical spa client.

    Hi, I’m Michael H. Cohen, founding attorney of the Cohen Healthcare Law Group. We help healthcare industry clients like you, navigate healthcare and FDA legal and regulatory issues so you can launch or grow your healthcare business.

    In this scenario, our client, or our hypothetical client provides medical spa treatments, including fillers, injectables, micro-needling, IV hydration and more IV hydration, vitamin shots, functional medicine and nutritional advice.

    That’s a pretty big list.  The first legal question to sort out here is who will be in charge of the clinical operation.  Because the healthcare startup founder here is a psychologist, or chiropractor, or let’s say licensed social worker.  This clinician is going to need an MD who can head up the medical side of the business.

    The licensed MD should have a professional medical corporation, and within that corporation hire nurses and physician assistants whom the MD can supervise or to whom they can delegate, respectively.

    The psychologist, chiropractor or LCSW has to be careful about staying within the scope of practice, and not crossing the line into unlicensed medical practice – that is, not appearing to prescribe medical therapies, nor to be supervising the nursing and physician assistant staff.

    The practice of nutrition itself depends on State law—sometimes it is allowed, as in California with its liberal statute authorizing anyone to give nutritional advice, as long as they don’t use a title that’s reserved for licensed healthcare providers – like a registered dietician.

    Next, the founder or founders will want legal advice before they start issuing shares.  They could have their fellow shareholders in the professional corporation, if they are licensees, and/or the MSO, if they are not—either way, the founders need to understand the risks and pitfalls of having shareholders, even if the idea initially seems attractive.

    Now, someone asked us: can the MD be 51% owner yet not take 51% of the profits.

    Clever idea. Let’s just say, can the blue sky not be blue. I don’t think so.

    Chart review, supervision vs. collaboration—these are some of the legal issues and regulatory issues around using midlevel practitioners, just flipping to another issue here.

    Next, you can see that the questions are nested, and they require separating out, there’s actually a lot of different issues, not just one tangled mess. A good medical spa attorney can help you, as long as they understand all these different lines of law that intersect.

    Thank you for watching. Please contact us with your questions. We have helped hundreds and hundreds of medical spas, thousands of different healthcare law clients.  So, we look forward to working with you as well to help you grow your success!


    • I would definitely recommend. I needed direction regarding the FDA and how the rules would affect my business. Responsive, accessible, and knowledgeable.

      Richard Freedland
      Richard Freedland GRAMedical, CEO
    • Impressive credentials are only overshadowed by their clear awareness of practical strategies to help Physicians navigate modern healthcare and achieve successful outcomes.

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      James Riviezzo Practice On Your Terms

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