Although most states require a doctor or corporation owned by a doctor to legally own a doctor's office, non-doctors can own a medical spa. A medical spa is considered a medical practice, and therefore must be owned by a doctor or group of doctors. In New Jersey, only one doctor or group of doctors can own a medical spa. There are solutions to this, such as an MSO (Management Service Organization) or health services organization that can help with operations and administration, but should not be related to medical treatment.
Many entrepreneurs and non-medical health professionals see an opportunity in the medical spa industry, but are unsure of how to proceed. In the US, the services provided by medical spas are considered medical. According to the legal doctrine known as “corporate practice of medicine”, only a doctor or corporation owned by a doctor can own a medical facility. In addition, only physicians or physician-owned corporations can charge patients' fees for the provision of medical services.
It is important to do everything “by the rules” from the beginning, as any mistake in setting up an MSO, operating the medical spa, or in agreements between the MSO and the doctor or entity owned by the doctor could end careers. The medical spa industry is rapidly growing, and there is enormous variation from state to state in terms of ownership requirements and who can perform procedures. Some entrepreneurs open medspas that violate the corporate practice of medicine doctrine, either out of ignorance or unwillingness to follow the rules. AMSpa events such as Medical Spa Boot Camps and The Medical Spa Show provide best business and legal practices for those entering or improving their current business in the medical spa space.
The AMSpa New York Medical Aesthetics Legal Brief provides answers to questions about medical spa law. In addition, medical spas can offer their patients medical quality products for skin care and weight loss. While MSOs give doctors and non-doctors the opportunity to collaborate in a medical spa business with distinct ownership interests, certain pitfalls must be avoided. The summary available to AMSpa Basic members answers more than 60 legal questions about the medical spa, while AMSpa Plus members have access to more than 25 additional medical and aesthetic legal answers.
It has been noted that multiple practices have been denied their names because regulatory agencies do not prefer the word “spa” in reference to medical practices. Pennsylvania defines a cosmetic medical procedure as any procedure performed on a person that aims to improve their appearance and does not significantly promote proper functioning of the body or prevent or treat a disease or illness. The online resource is essential for medical spa owners, medical directors, office administrators and professionals.