Mixed Message: Restricting Scope of Practice at Medi-Spas, Increasing it Elsewhere

June 5, 2013

I read an article in the Wall Street Journal reporting that more states are regulating Medi-Spa ownership and placing scope of practice restrictions on the procedures performed at those facilities.

It seems as if they’ve discovered that nurses and other paraprofessionals, and in some cases, even beauticians, are performing what many, most, or, perhaps, nearly all, physicians would say are medical procedures.

So, states are rushing to regulate: In some locations, physicians must own or control the spa, and in other cases, states are making sure that physicians actually supervise these procedures.

Yet, in the loony world in which these states regulate, many are also rushing to expand the scope of practice of paraprofessionals in the traditional healthcare setting, e.g., office practice and at the hospital, due to the existing, and soon to be worse, physician shortage resulting from Obamacare.

So, on the one hand, your tattoo may have to be removed by a physician, but your appendectomy might be performed by a nurse practitioner. Go figure.

On the one hand, there’s good news here: Physicians pulling out of traditional practice will soon be able to open a Medi-Spa with less competition from those pesky beauticians and allied health professionals.

I feel better, don’t you?

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