Med spas can be a lucrative endeavor. But effectively managing one involves compliance with a variety of legal and regulatory requirements. This article outlines some of the main factors to keep in mind for those responsible for operating a med spa in Texas.
1. Ownership: In Texas, a med spa may be owned by a physician, a nurse practitioner, a physician assistant, or a nurse. Even an unlicensed person may own a med spa. The only prohibition is that a physician a cannot own one with a non-physician. Regardless of who ones one they must ensure they comply with all applicable laws and regulations governing the practice of nursing and the delegation of medical tasks.
2. Licensing and Regulation: Med spas in Texas are regulated by several state agencies, including the Texas Medical Board (TMB) and the Texas Board of Nursing (BON). The Texas Department of State Health Services (TDHR) regulates laser hair removal and that procedure is excluded from the practice of medicine. Many spas do laser hair removal and non-surgical cosmetic procedures. Depending on the services offered, the med spa may need to be licensed by TDHR for laser hair removal and also be subject to regulation by the TMB and BON.
3. Medical Oversight: Med spas must have a physician, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant on staff to provide medical oversight and supervision. The medical provider must be licensed in Texas and must ensure that all medical tasks are performed in accordance with state and federal laws and regulations. At present the physician or mid-level does not have to be on-sight to comply with the law.
4. Advertising and Marketing: Med spas must comply with advertising and marketing regulations, including the prohibition on false or misleading advertising, the requirement to disclose the qualifications of the medical staff, and the requirement to obtain informed consent from patients.
5. Delegation of Medical Tasks: Med spas must ensure that all medical tasks are performed by licensed medical professionals or other qualified unlicensed personnel in accordance with state laws and regulations. Nurses may only be delegated tasks that are within their scope of practice and training and that do not require the exercise of independent medical judgment.
6. Recordkeeping: Med spas must maintain accurate and complete medical records for all patients in accordance with state and federal regulations. The records must include a medical history, a treatment plan, and documentation of all treatments and procedures performed.
7. Compliance with Other regulations: Med spas must comply with a variety of other state and federal regulations, including those related to patient privacy (HIPAA), infection control, and the disposal of medical waste.
Knowledge and understanding of each of the considerations above are a critical component of operations. And along with careful management and oversight, a med spa will ensure that its risks are mitigated as much as possible which in turn will help safeguard a successful practice.