A nurse practitioner recently posed a question on ThriveAP related to MedSpas and delegation to estheticians. This is a great inquiry, as many nurse practitioners are taking the medspa route and opening practices that provide cosmetic services. In many states, nurse practitioners can start such businesses independently, taking advantage of the favorable scope of state practice laws. If you are considering opening a MedSpa as a nurse practitioner, it is important to be aware of the legal regulations that apply.
In Texas, for example, nurse practitioners, estheticians, and other non-physicians are not allowed to own a medical spa, also known as a medi-spa or medical spa. However, non-physicians can still participate in the day-to-day operations of a medical spa through a management services organization (MSO). Many non-medical businessmen and healthcare professionals recognize the potential of medical spa ownership but are unsure how to proceed. The truth is that in most U.
S. states, the services provided by medical spas are considered medical. Under the “corporate practice of medicine” doctrine, only a doctor or a corporation owned by a doctor can own a medical facility. Additionally, only physicians or corporations owned by physicians can collect patient fees for the provision of medical services.
Nurse practitioners who have unrestricted independent practice rights can be found in Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington and Wyoming. In these states, nurse practitioners can open their own aesthetic practices and hire and supervise RNs to perform procedures. Unfortunately, some entrepreneurs open medspas that violate the corporate practice of medicine doctrine without knowing or following the rules. The American MedSpa Association provides an overview of these state guidelines; however, one must become a member of the organization to access this resource. Before opening your MedSpa doors for business, make sure that you and your staff are properly trained in the administration of cosmetic procedures.
Opening a MedSpa can be an effective way for nurse practitioners to use their skills in an entrepreneurial venture. It is also important to review the scope of practice guidelines for NPs in your state as well as specific guidelines for owning a MedSpa or a practice that offers cosmetic services.