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In recent times, physicians have increasingly begun to offer spa-style treatments such as laser hair removal and Botox injections, all attractive because they're typically paid for in cash and offer high margins. At the same time, they've faced competition from medical spas, which offer similar treatments in a spa-like environment along with standard beauty services.
Now, Massachusetts health officials want to crack down on the medical spas, following the lead of Florida, which has already begun regulating these businesses. Under a proposal issued by a state task force, the spas would be required to get licenses from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, and recruit a physician or nurse with special training to remove age spots or tattoos with a laser.
In its report, the task force noted that doctors and other professionals not specifically trained in dermatology have begun offering laser skin procedures, which members indicated presents an unacceptable risk.
Nationally, the number of medical spas around the country has grown from approximately 500 in 2004 to around 2,500 today. If this growth rate continues, it is likely more of these regulations will come to light in other states.
By Anne Ziegler, FierceHealthcare, February 25, 2009