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Can A PA Open A Med Spa?

Physician Assistant inside a medical spa room

For information only. Not meant as advice in any form. Please consult your medical professional or lawyer.

Medical spas are mostly owned and operated by an individual medical professional or a physician group practice. However, with the big demand for noninvasive cosmetic procedures today, there are other professionals and entrepreneurs who are interested in starting their own aesthetic businesses.

So can physician assistants establish their own medical spa? As long as their practicing state allows it, a physician assistant can start a medical spa. However, in states that limit ownership strictly to medical doctors, physician assistants can only co-own or hold minority shares in the practice.

Understanding the Role of Physician Assistants in a Med Spa

Physician assistants are a vital part of the team in most healthcare organizations, hospitals, and medical practices. In an aesthetic clinic, they’re responsible for assisting the supervising physician in a cosmetic procedure. They can also help examine, diagnose, and assist patients in their treatments.

While most states provide that only a medical doctor or healthcare professional should perform medical spa services, there are few communities that grant independent practice to physician assistants. Oftentimes, they’d still need to receive orders from a delegating physician and perform cosmetic medical procedures under physician supervision.

Since many physician assistants are already enjoying flexible authority and responsibilities in a med spa practice, it’s common to think about whether they can become med spa owners. Opening a med spa is a great move if you want to take your aesthetic career to the next level, but there are guidelines as to whether a physician assistant can become a sole owner.

Can PAs Become A Med Spa Owner?

Generally, the right to own medical spa businesses is given to individuals with a medical license. Unlike a traditional day spa, most services in a med spa are considered a medical procedure which is why only licensed professionals can supervise or perform the treatment.

As such, physician assistants have limited opportunities to start their own medical spa business or aesthetic practice. Many states recognize the ‘corporate practice of medicine’ doctrine which provides that only a physician or physician owned corporation can legally own a clinic and collect fees for medical services.

However, there are some states that don’t strictly follow this legal doctrine and provide some considerations for a nurse practitioner or physician assistant who wants to be a medical spa owner. There are medical boards that often include a PA among the list of professionals who can own or become a minor partner in medical practice.

The only requirement is that you should employ a medical director or licensed doctor who will administer most of the procedures. Here are some states where a physician assistant can open their own medical aesthetic center:

  • Arizona
  • Florida
  • Hawaii
  • Iowa
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Mississippi
  • New Hampshire
  • North Carolina
  • Oklahoma
  • South Carolina
  • Utah
  • Wyoming

Steps for Opening A Med Spa As A Physician Assistant

Checking the legal requirements of your state medical board is the first step to starting a med spa as a physician assistant. Once you’ve cleared that process, there are other essential elements that you should take note of to ensure the success of your business. Here are the other important things that you need to consider:

1. Get Licenses and Permits

Aside from a medical license, there are several state permits that you need to obtain before opening your practice. You may be required to submit a legal document called an article of organization which provides details about your business model, company name, and members of the organization.

You may also need a certificate of occupancy to validate your business property and that it’s fit for medical procedures. If you want to sell skincare products and other merchandise in your clinic, you may also need to get a special retail seller permit.

2. Select Your Practice’s Location

Finding the right location is crucial to your business’s profitability. You want to establish your practice in a neighborhood where there’s a high demand for med spa treatment so you’ll have a regular customer base. You should also consider the accessibility of the clinic and ensure it has enough features such as security and good parking for the convenience of your clients.

3. Determine The Services You’ll Provide

You’d also need to plan the treatments that you’ll be offering in the med spa. Some of the common services offered in an aesthetic medical practice are Botox, dermal fillers, skin resurfacing, body contouring, laser hair removal, and other laser procedures. Depending on the procedures that you want to offer, you should also check your state laws if there are any provisions regarding the required training and certifications to perform medical treatment.

4. Hire The Right People

If your state provides that a physician assistant can only co-own a med spa, you may need to get a medical director to help run the business. Additionally, you’ll have to employ other essential personnel such as a registered nurse, nurse practitioner, esthetician, or cosmetologist.

5. Buy The Best Spa Equipment

You should also equip your practice with all the tools, machines, and devices needed to perform the procedures. Find a supplier that offers the equipment that you need at an affordable price. Alternatively, if you want to save on initial costs, you can look for deals where you can rent and try out a machine before finalizing a purchase.

6. Get A Business Insurance

You’d also need comprehensive business insurance to protect your medspa in case of any legal issue or medical complaints. There are different types of insurance that cover different risks such as customer injuries, business property damage, medical malpractice, and employee benefits.

What If You’re A Non-Medical Professional Who Wants To Open A Medspa?

The medical spa industry offers plenty of business opportunities for physicians, but even entrepreneurs without a medical background are now interested in opening their own practice. However, the regulations for nonmedical professionals who want to participate in the aesthetic industry are somewhat restrictive.

In most states, med spas are considered medical practices and therefore should only be owned by a licensed physician. If you’re an interested medspa owner, one way you can take a share in the industry is by setting up a management service organization. An MSO is an entity that will allow you to partner with physicians and provide necessary administrative services to keep the medical facility running.

While you can’t directly participate in making medical decisions, some of the business aspects that you can manage through an MSO are:

  • Marketing and advertising
  • Medical spa branding
  • Payroll and accounting
  • Real estate management
  • Purchase and rental of equipment
  • HR and administrative support

Start Your Med Spa Planning With Tools and Supplies From FACE Med Store

Physician assistants are usually a part of a medical aesthetic team but they can also participate in the ownership of a med spa business. If you want to become a med spa owner, it’s important that you seek legal advice from lawyers to make sure that you’re complying with the state regulations.

At FACE Med Store, we’ll help you with your med spa preparations by providing high-quality tools and equipment. We also offer a wide selection of cosmetic products and other medical instruments that you can use to perform effective treatments in your practice. To check our stocks, or to know more about how we can become partners, call us today.

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