Can a Parent Own a Medical Spa in California?

Only doctors (and other medical professionals) licensed in California can own shares in a medical corporation or be partners in a medical office. In California, corporate practice of medicine is not allowed. Only doctors can own and operate a doctor's office, corporation, or business. The doctor must own the office or be employed by the medical corporation or company (which is also owned by licensed doctors).

A California medical spa may also not “rent a license” (by hiring a doctor, either a doctor, an osteopathic doctor or a naturopathic doctor) or otherwise violate the provisions of the corporate practice of medicine. Doctors cannot simply serve as medical directors of Med Spa, but must operate the Med Spa under their medical practice and license. And non-doctors, like nurses, can't have an ownership stake in a medical business. Not surprisingly, many entrepreneurs and non-medical health professionals see an opportunity on the property of a medical spa, but they are not sure how to proceed.

The fact of the matter is that in most US states, services provided by medical spas are considered medical. According to a 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 may charge patients' fees for the provision of medical services. In addition, medical spas can offer their patients medical quality products for skin care and weight loss.

The name of the doctor (or that of your professional medical corporation) should appear in ads about Med Spa treatments. All California physicians who own and operate Med Spas should understand the risks to their medical licenses associated with this expansion of their medical practices. We offer complete, turnkey solutions to help you create a professional medical corporation specifically designed for California. Conversely, if the procedure penetrates into the deepest layer of the skin (removal of scars, spots and wrinkle treatments), it is considered a medical treatment and only a licensed doctor can perform it.

These require a trained and licensed health care provider to assess the patient's suitability through a “good faith examination” and proper administration of medications. However, the Medical Council is concerned that the drugs are marketed as a pedicure, and consumers are led to believe that injecting, laser and rejuvenating does not require more thought than changing hair color. The use of the term medical spa is for advertising purposes to make the procedures look more attractive. Some entrepreneurs, whether they are unaware of the rules or are not willing to follow them, open medspas that violate the corporate practice of the doctrine of medicine.

If you feel that any mistake in the way you set up an MSO (Medical Service Organization), operate the medical spa, or in agreements between the MSO and the doctor or the entity owned by the doctor could end the careers of everyone involved, it's easy to understand why it's worth investing in doing everything “by the rules” from the beginning. If you have an existing medical spa as an LLC (limited liability company) in another state and want to expand in California, you will need to convert it into a Professional Corporation. Some of the services offered by medical spas include skin tightening, injectable dermal fillers, non-surgical fat reduction procedures, acne treatments, laser hair removal, and Botox treatments, among others. An MSO basically acts as the owner of the medical practice: it charges the doctor or the corporation owned by the doctor a fee for operating in their space and maintaining the facilities to their liking.

Often, doctors who work in different medical specialties, such as plastic surgery, see operating a medical spa as an opportunity to earn additional money while managing two offices.

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