Booming Medical Spa Market: which means, it is important to go to one that is properly insured and p

December 01, 2011

Medical Spas and Medical Malpractice

Perhaps you're thinking about visiting a medical spa for help with those frown lines, age spots or facial hair.

Use caution when selecting a facility. Although modern medical techniques can produce dramatic cosmetic results, possible complications can be much more serious than a bad haircut.  We insure many of these facilities. And, the very process of procuring insurance is the best risk management that they can do!, the questions asked on the applications act as a guide to what to do, how to protect themselves.

 Booming Medical Spa Market: which means, it is important to go to one that is properly insured and practices sound risk management.

The Boomers and others! Have discovered the effectiveness of the Medical Spa. These treatments work, and there are many spas which are perfectly legit! Of course, Dermatologists, Oto's and Plastics Surgeons are well trained to perform these procedures. And so it goes, that others are venturing into the market; that is okay, we just need to be sure they are properly trained and supervised to do the delicate and skilled work.

Trendy medical spas are springing up across the country - since 2005, the number has grown from about 500 to over 2,500. Tucked away in malls and shopping centers, they offer advanced cosmetic medical procedures in a spa atmosphere.

Instead of visiting a doctor's office, clients flock to them for Botox injections, laser hair removal and pharmaceutical-grade skin care products, just to name a few of the popular "menu" items offered by the spas. 

Almost by gravitational pull, we have developed expertise in this market:  The Doctors’ Insurance Agency can provide the proper malpractice insurance for medispas and the providers who are related to them.  Botox and Laser provides the majority of the medical malpractice claims.   The specialty insurance companies that we use, individually underwriter each physicality, each provider, and each service.

The Doctors’ Insurance Agency can offer two very competitive malpractice insurance policies for medical spas.  Whether you need to insure the physician owner for just supervising, or the physician/owner is providing services as well,  this can be very rewarding to many physicians to develop expertise in new areas, to bring in new revenue and to establish a different kind of client, professional relationship.  The important thing is:  as it often is, make sure the physician, the employed practitioners, R.N.’s, Aestheticians, Nurse Practitioners or any one else operating any of the equipment are properly insured for the work that is provided.

Makeover Malpractice

The rise in medical spa use, together with loose government regulation, naturally led to a dramatic increase in the number of lawsuits filed over botched spa treatments. The risks of these procedures include burns, scarring, infection and even death. For instance:

  • A North Carolina woman died from a lidocaine overdose after she covered her legs with the gel as instructed by her local hair-removal clinic
  • Also in North Carolina, woman was awarded $500,000 against a medical spa because she developed a serious blood infection from a procedure to reduce stomach fat
  • In Michigan, a woman sued a clinic after an unsupervised technician cut her face with a laser

Medical Malpractice attorneys predict that litigation against medical spas will continue to rise. They caution clients to thoroughly investigate a spa and its operators before seeking any treatments.

The Doctors’ Insurance Agency works with the clients and Carriers to make sure the proper conditions and procedures are covered.  and,  of course, we want to make sure the doctor’s underlying medical practice is competitively priced.

Medical Spa Safety

The American Society for Dermatology Surgery offers advice for patients considering cosmetic procedures in a spa or salon:

  • Choose a location carefully. Beware of store-front or shopping mall locations that don't have on-site medical staff. Emergency care should be immediately available in case something goes wrong
  • Make sure a doctor is on site. Most cosmetic medical procedures should be performed by a physician board-certified in dermatology. If a physician is supervising the procedure, make sure the doctor is at the location and available to immediately respond to any questions or problems
  • Check credentials. Ask about the background, training, certification and licensing of the physician and staff. Membership in a medical specialty organization shows the physician's desire to keep up on the latest medical information
  • Discuss pain management options. Even minor cosmetic treatments can cause discomfort. Understand the benefits and risks of the options available for dealing with pain
  • Don't rely on price. A deep discount on the cost of procedures often indicates you aren't receiving the best treatment.

Ask the Right Questions

It's your money and your body. Protect them both. Don't be afraid to ask questions, such as:

  • How do you deal with an emergency?
  • What training does the staff have?
  • Who will perform the procedure?
  • Is this treatment right for me?
  • Is this laser, device or technique appropriate for my skin type?
  • Have you performed this procedure before on the same body part I'm considering? May I see your before and after photographs?
  • Have you reviewed my medical history?

Most importantly, don't be afraid to walk away. If it doesn't feel right, find a more reputable location.