Medical Spas: Your Guide to a Safe Holiday Season

By: Alyson Boeckh

Your medical spa guide to a safe and compliant holiday season is the gift that keeps on giving! Here is your guide to dealing with naughty patients, regulators, and lawyers. Rest assured, there is ALWAYS room on the nice list! 

1. Steer Clear of the Naughty Patients

Problematic patients can cause your medical spa a great deal of harm. Unfortunately, these people are the scrooges of the industry that simply cannot be reasoned with. The best way to avoid the troublemakers is by spotting them early. Problematic patients don't follow the rules: they don't show up for appointments, don't follow instructions for treatment, are disruptive and don't pay. Even with the competition of the industry growing, turning away these types of patients will save you great trouble and heartache. As the holiday season continues to bring out the crazies, just remember your professional reputation is worth much more than what these patients' potential financial benefit could ever counterbalance. Your best defense is to avoid the Naughtys!        

2. Learn Your State's Practice Act and Check it TWICE

Ever heard of your state's practice act? Don't worry, you're not the only one who feels left in the dark. The laws governing medical spas are often misunderstood and unclear to many. The best step you can take to understanding the law is by working with your local health care attorney (specifically an aesthetics attorney) who can help explain the regulations in your state. (AmSpa works with a national medical aesthetics law firm and provides a discount on initial consultations for members. Learn more about member benefits.) Practice acts are continually updating and changing as new technology advances are hitting the market, so it's very important for the future of your business to learn the laws to stay compliant as the industry continues to grow. Just remember, the regulators are always watching!  

3. HO HO HOld an Evaluation  

Another effective approach to becoming and staying compliant is to hold an on-site evaluation. That way you can know exactly if you're building your clientele properly without violating any patient privacy laws, or that your staff is properly performing treatments under the right guidelines. You can either create your own or purchase a Standard Operating Procedure to quicken the evaluation process. 

4. There's Room for Everyone on the Nice List

Working toward safety and compliance is a great way to start the New Year! It's never easy to break old habits that have worked in the past, but as the old saying goes, "One person can ruin it for everyone." The more we work together as an industry towards compliance, the closer it brings us to breaking the negative stigma associated with the medical spa industry.

Please contact us if you have any questions about your legal landscape.

AmSpa members have access to summaries of the laws that apply to medical spas in their state as well as member pricing for legal consultations with our partner law firm, ByrdAdatto. We're here to help; become a member today!

Don't Miss AmSpa's Upcoming Events for 2017!

How to Avoid a Criminal Investigation in Your Medical Spa

By: Alyson Boeckh

Legal issues in medical spas can have serious consequences. One of the most recent criminal investigations in Fresno, CA., for example, had a doctor and three nurses facing criminal charges for the unauthorized practice of medicine. For many professionals, it comes as no surprise that the rules governing med spas are often misunderstood, unclear, and hard to find, but when state regulators are becoming more and more involved in these medical spa investigations you have to start paying attention to it. Here are 5 simple steps you can take to make sure a criminal investigation does NOT happen to your medical spa. 

1. Learn the Law

No surprise here...You MUST know the rules and regulations set by your state. The laws governing medical spas are completely different than any other segment of the spa industry. Many new procedures like microneedling, are now being considered medical treatments. It is your job to implement your state's laws and regulations into your practice, and to stay involved when new rules form or change. 

2. Pay Attention to Industry News

Stay in-the-know. The industry is evolving so fast that it's hard to always be at the fore-front, but it's also where you need to be if you want to stay compliant. It's often said that technology moves faster than the law, which means you have to be prepared for what the future of this industry will look like when stronger regulations start to take affect. 

3. Stay Up-to-Date on Education/Training

There are a TON of informational and educational workshops going on all around the country to keep you operating successfully. Some of the most successful medical spas will routinely train their staff and make them attend certification classes to continue building upon their skills. You are responsible for everything your employees do, so it's equally as important to have employee manuals and procedures written down and in place so everyone is on the same page. Most importantly, know your weaknesses and be willing to adapt, or you will not survive in this industry. It is far too competitive and reviews-focused for you to just not care. 

4. Be Mindful

Whether or not you think you're compliant, your state's regulators might not agree. You must handle each patient with the same mindfulness as you would with anyone you care about. All it takes is one person to tip off any of your state boards for you to be suddenly under investigation. Don't make that mistake.   

5. Lack of Knowledge is not an Excuse

AmSpa Director, Alex Thiersch, always says, "Saying that you just didn't know, NEVER works." Risking losing your license and your business all together because you didn't make the time to learn the law is a regret you don't want to have.

Please contact us if you have any questions about your state's legal landscape. 

As a reminder, AmSpa members have access to summaries of the laws that apply to medical spas in their state as well as member pricing for a legal consultation with our partner law firm, ByrdAdatto. We're here to help, become a member today!

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Med Spas and Medical Aesthetic Practices Have a More Powerful Legal Resource

Medical spas and medical aesthetic practices NOW have an even more powerful legal resource. AmSpa, the leading legal and educational resource in medical aesthetics, is increasing its legal clout by joining with national aesthetics law firm ByrdAdatto. Together, AmSpa and ByrdAdatto represent the pre-eminent source of legal expertise serving YOUR business and YOUR potential legal risks.

YOU'RE Invited! AmSpa's Exclusive Medical Spa Summit

One-Day Summit to Provide Overview of Professional Success in Medical Spa Industry

AmSpa will ring in the new year with its brand new Medical Spa Summit, an entire day of medical spa training and education from the top educators in the medical spa industry, at Skin Inc.’s Face & Body Spa Conference & Expo events throughout 2017! Exclusive to Skin Inc.’s Face & Body events, the one-day summit will give YOU the opportunity to learn more about what it takes to own and operate a medical spa or take your business to the next level. It will also discuss topics such as:

• Whether non-physicians can own a medical spa; 
• How regulations are changing estheticians’ scope of practice;
• What are the common legal mistakes for new medical spas; 
• And much more.

Register Now!

AmSpa Gets a Taste of Tex-Mex at Dallas Bootcamp

The American Med Spa Association (AmSpa) arrived in Dallas, TX November 7-8 for its SOLD OUT Medical Spa Boot Camp, featuring new partnership with Premier Healthcare Law Firm, ByrdAdatto.

AmSpa attendees asked one-on-one questions to Founder/Director Alex Theirsch.

Attendees got up close and personal with vendor partners, the product experts in medical aesthetics.

Industry experts, Bryan Durocher (left), Dori Soukup (middle), and Louis Frisina (right) shared their knowledge and experience on how to run a medspa successfully.     

Tim Sawyer from Crystal Clear Digital Marketing explained the industries growing competition. "If you are a medical aesthetics practice that does treatments and procedures, you are NOT a unicorn." 

Environ Skin Care handed out an exclusive skincare product to the lucky raffle prize winner!

Alex Theirsch, Brad Adatto, and Michael Byrd answered questions after their overview of med spa law and regulations.

AmSpa Director, Alex Thiersch, (fourth on the left) celebrated partnership with Premier Healthcare Law Firm, ByrdAdatto.

Understanding HIPPA: Patient Privacy Laws for Medical Aesthetics

By: Alex Thiersch

Like millions of other businesses, medical aesthetic practices and medspas often use social media channels—such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram—to increase brand awareness, promote new services, and strengthen the bond between providers and patrons. Unlike other service- and product-based businesses, medical practices and medspas are bound by patient privacy regulations set forth in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). And it is shockingly easy for a practice to expose itself to HIPAA violations through social media activity.

The Fee-Splitting Conundrum: How to Compensate Client Referrals

At traditional spas and salons, rewarding clients for referrals is a common practice. So it makes sense that many medical spas have also adopted this technique to help bring people into their facilities. However, medical spas face certain restrictions that other businesses in the retail market sector do not. Because of this, it’s important for medical spa owners and operators to understand how they can and cannot compensate their clients for referring new customers.

Vampire Facelift: Who Can Safely Inject Your Blood?

By: Alyson Boeckh 

In the spirit of Halloween a.k.a Vampire Facelift season, more and more Medspas are picking up on the PRP (platelet-rich plasma) procedure that continues to increase customer curiosity and fascination. It has only been three years since Kim Kardashian shocked America with a gruesome post-Vampire Facelift selfie, raising controversy and intrigue. Despite all the attention this procedure has received, there still isn't a lot of information available about this procedure.   

Here at AmSpa, we love talking in terms of rules and legalities. 

So here are 13 NEED TO KNOWS about the Vampire Facelift...

Cosmetic Procedure Shelf Life: How Long Do Results Last?

The percentage of consumers considering cosmetic procedures has nearly doubled in numbers since 2013, making it absolutely necessary for AmSpa to provide a Medspa Treatment Directory for prospective consumers. We've covered every cosmetic treatment in the market from Coolsculpting to Hair Replacement and everything in between.

Depending on what procedure is being performed, results can last from as little as a few weeks to as long as forever. Coolsculpting, for instance, takes approximately 3-4 months to be fully realized and, therefore, many patients schedule second treatments at that time. The results  are long-lasting as long as you maintain a stable, healthy lifestyle.  Hair Replacement, however, shows permanent results, unless you are undergoing a large treatment that requires follow-ups. 
In regards to any treatment being performed, it's important to always have realistic expectations in mind. Whether you undergo a few botox sessions, or laser rejuvenation, most of these procedures are a continual process that will take time to achieve your desired results.
If any of the questions below resonate with your concerns on a specific cosmetic treatment, please visit the MedSpa Treatment Directory to view the full list of treatments and answers.  

What is it? 
Who is the ideal candidate? 
Are there any contraindications? 
What is the pain level? 
What is the cost? 
How long does the treatment take? 
How long do the results last? 
Who can safely administer this treatment? 
What should I be concerned about? 
What else do I need to know?   

Don't Miss AmSpa's Upcoming Events for 2016!

Register Today! 

5 Secrets to Gaining Millennials' Trust in Your MedSpa Practice

By: Aly Boeckh

Digital Marketing is Key

As a millennial myself I spend the majority of my work day connected to the virtual Med Spa world, and in doing so I've started to notice some clear distinctions between the businesses that are succeeding in the digital realm and those that aren't. It's really no secret that in order to gain a millennial's trust Digital Marketing is a MUST.

The most successful Medical Spas use digital marketing as an integral part of their monthly budget because they understand how large of a scope the digital world has become. Med Spa Industry Expert Louis Frisina states that, "79% of people use the Internet to search for doctors, and 96% of consumers say site reviews are the deciding factor when choosing a doctor.” In millennial terms that means... 
"If you're not on the Internet, you might as well be non-existent."

Digital Marketing equates to transparency for the millennial consumer, and it is the greatest amount of leverage you can have when competing within this industry. People can get botox anywhere and they can choose the cheapest option available, but millennials will choose you over their neighbor's botox party if you can instill that trust in your online presence. Dori Soukup from InSPAration Management says that you need to cultivate trust by building your online presence. "It's all about trust, When people trust you they're going to come back and spend money with you."

Some questions you should candidly ask yourself include: Is my site outdated? Mobile-friendly? Does it take longer than a second to load any page? Does every link work, including links to social media pages (VERY important to millennials)? Is there an email or contact form available? Are the images authentic and real representations of my practice (stock images are a big no, no)?

Promote Your Expertise on RealSelf

Ask yourself, "Are you an expert in your industry and willing to share your knowledge to make a difference in a consumer's life?" If you answered yes, then joining RealSelf is your solution to 1) promoting your expertise, 2) advertising your practice, and 3) making a huge difference in a consumer's life. RealSelf is the world's largest community for consumers to learn and share information about cosmetic surgery, dermatology, dentistry, and other elective procedures. Stephen Weber, MD, FACS says, “RealSelf continues to be our most reliable source of referrals.” It's mutually beneficial for both Consumers and Doctors, and it builds that trust with millennials, a.k.a the skeptics to internet forums.

Include Testimonials

Whether you have Yelp reviews or testimonials included in your site, you MUST have some form of reviews page that is easily accessible to consumers. Millennials want to hear what people are saying about your practice because they are no fools to marketing/advertising. They will also analyze how a practice is responding to consumer's reviews on Yelp, especially the negative ones. Ask yourself, does your business ignore the negative comments or worse, respond defensively? Millennials interpret the response from the company as something that makes all the difference during their decision-making process.

 Offer Online Booking

Millennials LOVE short-cuts. They are the do-it-themselves of this world. If there's an option to online-order they will choose it over picking up the phone because to them it feels like they are cutting out the middle-man. So offer online booking! Unless of course it's someones first visit, then instruct them to make an initial phone consultation. However, for your repeated loyal customers, allow them the ability to book online or even on their mobile-device. It makes millennials feel that the practice is running smoothly and is organized enough for virtual appointments to continuously be made on top of the regular scheduling process.

Social Media

The Social Media world is very transparent to millennials. It's no doubt that millennials will often times start their research on social media and eventually work their way to your website from there. Millennials will judge the aesthetics right off the bat. Stock imagery to them looks irrelevant, overdone, and fake. They want to see photos that make them FEEL a certain way, like real before and after images that genuinely show a huge difference from a procedure. Or real-life videos demonstrating the procedure process. They want to know more about the doctors and your company culture, so do staff highlights and include captions that connect to consumers and engage with them. 

Be authentic, present, and honest and the millennials will come to you.


The Gateway to Male Aesthetics

By: Aly Boeckh

Puzzled By the Increase in Male Cosmetic Treatments?

Med Spa Industry Expert Louis Frisina, credited with bringing the dermal filler Restylane to the U.S., has been studying the med spa market closely and gives insight on how to get male prospects into your practice.

"From focus groups and personal interviews with males, it appears there is a significant "gateway" with hair restoration, starting with early targeted marketing of the "Bosleys" of the world,” Frisina said. He added, "Non-Surgical Hair Restoration Systems like Neograft and ARTES are growing at a rate of more than 20 percent.”

What You Missed at AmSpa's San Jose Bootcamp

Day 1

AmSpa Founder and Director, Alex Thiersch, warmly welcomes attendees to the two-day AmSpa Med Spa Bootcamp in San Jose, CA.


President of Durocher Enterprises, Bryan Durocher, presents on The Plan and The Build. With 25 years of spa industry success Durocher says, "People no longer use marketing terms like 'pampering or indulgent,' they use words like 'rejuvenation, relaxation, and wellness.'"

Medical Spa Success Now Comes with a Step-By-Step Guide

By: Aly Boeckh

  The American Med Spa Association's (AmSpa's) Medical Spa Bootcamp provides the most dynamic and intense medical spa and medical aesthetics education throughout the United States, from New York to Los Angeles and many places in between.

These medical spa boot camps, A Step-by-step Guide to Building a Profitable Medical Spa, are two-day, can't-miss knowledge and business technique-driven seminars created for physicians and nonphysicians who are looking to make their existing medical aesthetic businesses more profitable, successful and compliant, or those looking to open a new medical spa … the right way. Attendees to these intensive seminars will leave with the tools and tactics needed to successfully and legally operate a medical aesthetic facility or medical spa.

New California Microneedling Regulation Against Estheticians

By: Aly Boeckh

AmSpa Founder and Director, Alex Thiersch's viral CA Update video has lead to a serious discussion regarding recent confusion and concern about who can perform microneedling and dermaplaning in California medical spas. The American Med Spa Association (AmSpa) will welcome California Board of Barbering and Cosmetology representatives Kristy Underwood and Tami Guess to its upcoming Medical Spa Boot Camp in San Jose, CA, on September 19-20. Underwood and Guess are slated for a short presentation and Q&A session on Day 2 of the boot camp, providing information about California’s state laws and regulations affecting medical spa professionals, with a focus on microneedling and derma planing. 

The Botox Boom in Millennials

By Aly Boeckh, AmSpa

According to a recent study by the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), Botox procedures have increased by 18 percent from 2014 to 2015, and nearly 6,500 percent since 1997, making it the most popular non-surgical cosmetic procedure in the market.

The Top 10 Laser Hair Removal Spots for the 20-Something Female

By Alyssa McHugh, AmSpa

Laser hair removal is becoming a natural beauty-regimen within the millennial generation. 

Unfamiliar with this up and coming treatment? Laser hair removal is defined as a non-invasive technique that uses highly concentrated light to penetrate hair follicles, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgery (ASPS). The intense heat of the laser damages the hair follicle to inhibit future hair growth. In other words, the treated area will have thinner hair with less growth.

Why Cosmetic Procedures Are Doubling In Numbers

By Alyssa McHugh, AmSpa
According to the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS), the percentage of consumers considering a cosmetic medical procedure has almost doubled since 2013. Survey data from an ASDS Consumer Survey on Cosmetic Dermatologist Procedures revealed nearly 60 percent of consumers now say they are considering a cosmetic treatment, up from 30 percent just three years ago.
Why the sudden jump in popularity? ASDS President Naomi Lawrence, M.D., believes the urge to splurge could be a result of "patients trusting their dermatologists and the advanced techniques and cutting-edge technologies that will improve their appearance". Dermatologists have consecutively ranked number 1 out of the 14 factors influencing the decision to have a cosmetic procedure. They have also ranked first as the physician of choice in eight of the 10 treatment categories. These high levels of trust points to the fact that "board certification offers patients a peace of mind that their dermatologist has the expertise and training to provide the care for their skin and health needs."

Dealing With Problematic Patients

By Alex Thiersch, AmSpa

The Medical spa and medical esthetic industries are intensely competitive, so it seems counterintuitive that a practice would consider turning away potential business. However, some patients can cause practices great harm - much more than their potential financial benefit could ever counterbalance. It's important for medical spa owners and operators to recognize these troublemakers before they create problems for their business. 

13 Reasons to Join AmSpa

By Alyssa McHugh, AmSpa

1. Summary of Laws & Regulations

Stay up to date on your state with the only source in the nation for comprehensive state-specific, accurate summaries of medical spa laws and regulations!

2. Partner Attorney Discounts

We partner with the best ‪#‎medspa‬ attorneys in the country! By becoming an AmSpa Member, you will recieve exclusive discounted rates & access.

3. Articles and Videos

Gain exclusive access to our growing library of medical spa articles and videos featuring relevant and timely information on legal & regulatory issues, marketing, sales, and more!

4. AmSpa Medical Spa Insurance

Is your med spa insured? Membership gives you access to the most comprehensive medical aesthetic insurance coverage available!

5. Forms and Collateral

Looking for OSHA self-assessment documents? HIPPA video training? We've got our members covered with 65+ forms and documents crucial to medical spa businesses.

6. Industry News

Become an AmSpa Member and let us hand deliver stories about medical spas, medical aesthetics, and related industry news!

7. AmSpa Weekly E-Newsletters

Created especially for AmSpa Members, delivered right to your inbox. Convenient and current, what more could you ask for?

8. Training

Calling all PAs, physicians, estheticians, nurse practitioners & more! Receive discounts on advanced training when you become an AmSpa Member.

9. Education

Let us help you become a well-rounded professional! Attend one of our one-day workshops or two-day Medical Spa Bootcamps to learn from the best in the industry.

10. AmSpa Career Center

Looking for a job or hiring in the industry? We've got you and your medical spa covered.

11. Vendor Discounts

Save on medical spa advertising, training courses & more when you join AmSpa!

12. Compliance and Safety Templates and Videos

To receive a discount on Medical Risk Institute's HIPAA Online Certification Program and more, join AmSpa! 

13. Group Purchasing

AmSpa Members have access to MedResults Network buying network designed to help aesthetic physicians and medical spas save money on products they use daily.