International Medical Spa Association -vs- California Dermatologists?

international_medical_spa_association.jpgI received this email today from the International Medical Spa Association:

"Dear Spa Professional,

There has been much press lately about California Assembly Bill 2398 and we at the International Medical Spa Association feel this is a very important matter.

An important hearing was held in Sacramento on April 25th regarding this bill. The committee decided to put this topic on a watch and work with the California Nurses Board to address the educational and supervisional needs at California medspas.

Although it appears this matter is being "shelved" for the moment, this is actually an ongoing issue, relevant to all states, and will now go to the Appropriations Committee. This bill could significantly impact medspa owners, managing service organizations, medspa physicians and staff, medspa consumers and all vendors serving the California medspa industry.

California Assembly Bill 2398

The International Medical Spa Association, an association with a large number of members in California, and over 1,000 members worldwide, is concerned that California Assembly Bill 2398 may be unwarranted restraint of trade that threatens the public's safety and undermines a doctor's or small business owner's right to earn a living.

The Bill has nothing to do with consumer safety. It was drawn up with the support of a special interest group (the American Society of Dermatologic Surgery) representing dermatologists with a vested business interest in restricting who can own or operate a medical spa. Since a dermatologist can become board certified without receiving any training in esthetic procedures, there is no guarantee that these specialists will have any greater knowledge of esthetic procedures than other doctors, healthcare professionals, and estheticians.

The negative comments about medical spa safety and the need for greater supervision made to the committee belie the facts that medical spa malpractice insurance premiums have actually come down over the last two years.

Our Association believes that medical spas need to offer the highest level of care possible. That is why we define a medical spa as "a facility that works under the supervision of a licensed healthcare professional working within their scope of practice, with a staff working within their scope of practice."

We do agree that a non-doctor licensed healthcare professional should be supervised by a MD or DO. However, we do NOT believe that a doctor or DO acting as a medical director should be required to be on-site. Instead, the International Medical Spa Association believes there should be a better definition of "indirect supervision"; including the medical director's distance from the facility and how many facilities he or she can supervise.

Damaging valuable California businesses, restricting access to services, and potentially driving up costs for consumers in order to protect a special class of  physicians is unwarranted, unwise and unfair; particularly when there is no demonstrated risk to consumers and the public health.

The International Medical Spa Association joins with the American Academy of Family Practioners, the American Academy for Anti-Aging Medicine, as well as thousands of physicians and osteopaths in the State of California, respectfully asking that you, as a member of the California legislature, delay the passage of Assembly Bill 2398, and instead return it back to committee for a full and impartial hearing. Please be mindful of the fact that there have been rumblings of various grassroots lobbying efforts, aided by attorneys. A list of Assembly Members is provided for your benefit.

More information is also posted at the MedcalSpaMD Blog.
Kindest Regards,

Eric Light, President
International Medical Spa Association
201-865-2065 / 201-865-3961 (f)

It looks as though the 'International Medical Spa Association' in association with the 'Day Spa Association' is weighing in on this medspa scope of practice issue. Here's the Association's member list.

Nice that they linked to us here.