New Regulations for California Med Spas

If you’re running a medical spa in California, listen up. Governor Jerry Brown recently signed a law that aims to increase the supervision of medical spas offering cosmetic procedures such as Botox, Juvderm and laser hair removal. This law is aimed at eliminating instances of practice’s allowing untrained individuals to administer cosmetic treatments.

The law, which will take effect on January 1, 2013, will increase penalties and fines on practices that fail to utilize a trained doctor. Fines for medi spas could exceed $50,000 for failing to comply with the new medical rules. Even doctors who lend their name to a practice with overseeing treatments could face legal action.

One aesthetic physician told the Central Valley’s Fox40, “Although there may be a doctor name attached to the facility, sometimes it’s in name only. There’s no one there, no physician there who can jump in and help with the problem that occurs and it’s happened quite a bit.”

While there are already some regulations in place for medi spas in California, many advocates of patient safety claim that these regulations have fallen short in protecting patients and ensuring that all procedures are done safely and under the supervision of a certified doctor.

Who are these advocates? Chances are they are plastic surgeons, who in the wake of a weak economy, are seeing their patient-base shrink as patients opt for cheaper, non-invasive procedures such as Botox, Juvederm and laser hair removal.

California isn’t the only state feeling the heat from plastic surgeons and other patient safety advocates. Many medical spas in other states are battling plastic surgeons at the legislative level. These plastic surgeons aim to require board-certification (not just an MD) to administer ALL cosmetic treatments, including non-invasive one’s.

As the number of non-invasive, cosmetic treatments increase over the next decade, expect more and more states to try to introduce new laws aimed at improving patient safety.

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