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Medical Spa Requirements in Arizona

Updated: Mar 15


Woman receiving medical spa treatment in Arizona

Medical spas (“Med Spas”) are trending in popularity across the nation, offering services like laser hair removal and botox treatments to eager patients looking to freshen up their look. As more and more patients look for the latest and greatest ways to preserve that youthful glow, entrepreneurs sense a lucrative opportunity to ride this trend into profit.


We receive a lot of inquiries from both licensed health care providers and unlicensed people wanting to learn how to open a medical spa. They are often surprised to learn that the process for opening a medspa is more complicated than they hoped and that a number of state laws regulate their operations. This article will review some of the larger regulatory issues affecting ownership and operations of medical spas in Arizona, and the most frequently asked questions we receive on this topic including "who can own a medical spa?" and "what license do you need to open a medical spa?".


Medical Spa Qualifications Needed


There are many moving parts to owning and operating a medical spa. Each state has different rules and regulations, particularly around who can own and operate a medical spa, as well as different professional development requirements for the practitioners employed at the med spa.


Legal Requirements by Type


Medical spa requirements in Arizona are multifaceted. Consideration must be given to choice of business entity, as well as licensing and scope of practice restrictions. In addition, because the services offered by a medical spa often constitute the practice of medicine, compliance with state laws governing medical practice operations is required.


Medical spas in Arizona may be owned by licensed healthcare providers and unlicensed people as well. If the medical spa is owned by unlicensed people, it must obtain an appropriate license from the Arizona Department of Health Services. Additionally, the medical spa must have a licensed independent health care provider acting as a medical director with appropriate education, training, and experience in providing aesthetic medical services.


Business Requirements


As mentioned above, unlicensed persons are able to own a medical spa, so long as they have a licensed medical director. Additionally, other rules apply. For example, compensation paid to staff of the medical spa for services performed must comply with requirements imposed by licensing boards. Additionally, any advertising made by the medical spa must not be misleading.


Medical spas in Arizona are limited to providing non-surgical cosmetic/aesthetic procedures that are within the scope of practice of licensed health care providers delivering the services. These procedures can include microdermabrasion, dermaplaning, chemical peels, facials, waxing, botox injections, dermal fillers and other  injectables, and laser hair removal.


Medical Practice Requirements


Medical doctors (MD) and osteopathic physicians (DO) can serve as the medical directors of medical spas. In addition, Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN) may assume responsibilities as a medical director overseeing care and treatment provided by other APRNs, registered nurses (RNs), licensed practical nurses (LPNs), certified nursing assistants and unlicensed persons.


If the medical spa is owned by a person or person(s) that are licensed as health care providers under Title 32 of the Arizona Revised Statutes, such as an MD, DO, or APRN, then additional licensure from the Arizona Department of Health Services may not be required.


It is common for MDs, DOs, and APRNs to own a medical spa. A Physician’s Assistant (PA) owning a medical spa would still be required to meet any applicable supervision/collaboration requirements.


Depending on the nature of the service performed (e.g., superficial/non-superficial, ablative/non-ablative, invasive/non-invasive), direct or indirect supervision from a licensed independent health care provider may be required. Moreover, certain medical aesthetic procedures require informed consent, though it is recommended for all services. Professional liability insurance is highly recommended. 


There are also facility requirements for medical spas in Arizona. Medical spa facilities must have adequate space for delivering services, infection control procedures,and a written emergency plan and procedures in place in case of emergency.


Additionally, all medical spas are required to maintain written policies, procedures and protocols that align with applicable standards and evidence-based practice; these must be approved by a licensed independent health care provider trained in medical aesthetic procedures.


If products used in medical aesthetic procedures are regulated by the FDA, including compounding medications, then all FDA requirements must also be followed. These products must be used by trained and certified individuals clinically proficient in their use.

 

Lasers, radiofrequency devices and intense pulsed light equipment must be registered with the Arizona Department of Health Services.


It is unnecessary for a licensed medical provider to own the equipment used in a medical spa, but all equipment used must be approved by the medical director.


Practitioner Requirements


All licensed service providers must act within the scope of practice for their specific license category with appropriate supervision and/or collaboration and oversight as required. Generally, this means an RN, LPN, APRN, Cosmetologist, Aesthetician, and Certified Laser Technologist (CLT) acting within their scope of practice and with appropriate education, training, and experience to perform medical aesthetic procedures.


Frequently Asked Questions


Who can open a med spa in Arizona?


Anyone - licensed or unlicensed. However, if the medical spa is owned by someone who is not a licensed healthcare provider under Title 32 of the Arizona Revised Statutes, they must obtain the appropriate license from the Arizona Department of Health Services to operate and must have a medical director. Moreover, a medical spa owned by an unlicensed person must ensure all services are performed under the direction and oversight of a licensed independent health care provider acting within their scope of practice and with appropriate education, training and experience.


Can Nurse Practitioners Own a Medical Spa in Arizona?


Yes, Arizona is a state where it’s legal for a nurse practitioner to own a medical spa.


Can Physician Assistants Own a Medical Spa in Arizona?


Yes, but they would need to meet all supervision/collaboration requirements.


Can Registered Nurses Own a Medical Spa in Arizona?


Yes, but services would need to be performed with supervision and oversight from an MD, DO, or APRN where necessary.


Can non-physicians own medical spas in Arizona?


Yes, but services would need to be performed with supervision and oversight of a medical director who is an MD, DO, or APRN.


Aesthetician/Cosmetologist Requirements


Aestheticians and Cosmetologists may provide beautification services in a medical spa but must be licensed by the State. They may only work in licensed establishments.


Contact Us

If you are interested in opening a medical spa or have questions about medical spa operations, contact us for a free initial consultation.



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