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Disciplinary Concerns for Physicians Who Own or Serve as Medical Directors of Med Spas

In a previous article, I wrote about the types of violations the Texas Medical Board (TMB) prosecutes. Many of these violations can occur when a physician owns a med spa or serves as a non-owner medical director and does not comply with the laws and regulations related to the practice of medicine or those governing med spas.

A med spa is a type of medical facility that offers non-surgical cosmetic procedures such as Botox injections, chemical peels, and laser procedures other than hair removal. The laws and regulations controlling the operation of med spas are complex, and doctors who associate with them must ensure they comply with all applicable rules.

The TMB will discipline physicians, whether they are owners or independent contractors, if they engage in conduct that violates the standards of professional care or run afoul of the proper med spa regulatory structure. By way of example, a physician may be subject to prosecution by the TMB if they:

• allow unlicensed personnel to perform medical procedures or treatments without proper standing orders,

• fail to maintain adequate records or medical charts for patients,

• advertise or market the med spa in a manner that is false or misleading,

• fail to comply with the rules and regulations governing the delegation of medical tasks and responsibilities to non-physician staff, or

• engage in any behavior that is considered unprofessional, unethical, or illegal.

The reality is that doctors cannot be hands-off med spa owners/directors or treat the business any differently than a traditional medical practice. Doing so sets up circumstances ripe for violation prosecution and a license defense proceeding. Accordingly, physicians who own med spas or serve as medical directors should ensure that they are familiar with all applicable rules and regulations and that they comply with them to avoid potential disciplinary actions by the TMB.

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