CAMLAW: Complementary and Alternative Medicine Law Blog

International Association for Physicians in Aesthetic Medicine

The International Association for Physicians in Aesthetic Medicine is a voluntary association of physicians which sets standards for the aesthetic medical profession. The goal of the International Association for Physicians in Aesthetic Medicine is to offer education, ethical standards, credentialing, member benefits and work towards certification in Aesthetic Medicine.

The IAPAM notes:
The IAPAM offers the only complete aesthetic medicine training program and support for physicians practicing aesthetic medicine. Whether you are interested in opening a Medical Spa (MedSpa, MediSpa) or adding a few Aesthetic Medicine procedures to your existing practice, the IAPAM can help you succeed. Our signature 2-day Aesthetic Medicine Symposium combines clinical hands-on aesthetic medicine training of the most profitable advanced skin care procedures with proven strategies to successfully integrate Aesthetic Medical procedures into your practice. Including: Botox training, laser training, medical aesthetic training, along with Aesthetic Medicine business training.

We also have more advanced training for physicians have been practicing aesthetic medicine, including: Botox / Dermal Filler training, and Advanced Dermal Filler training. Coming soon, we will be adding: Lipodissolve, Mesotherapy & Sclerotherapy training.
The IAPAM also offers an "Aesthetic Business Plan Bootcamp" which "will help you complete an medical aesthetic practice business plan. Utilizing our facilitator's experience will help you avoid some of the common pitfalls of the industry."

However, while the International Association for Physicians in Aesthetic Medicine offers business training (including marketing, strategic planning, and training in financial plans), it does not render legal advice. Because aesthetic medicine and medical spa organization are relatively new to many regulators, and because the legal and regulatory issues cross several different areas, some physicians and entrepreneurs find roadblocks when it comes to properly planning for contingencies.

Many times it is even difficult to figure who, if anyone, regulates the area; or the regulation of a particular therapy is buried in the fine print of some back-office of an administrative agency. For example: is the use of lasers for hair removal within the scope of medical practice, and if so, can a physician delegate the operation of the laser for hair removal to a registered nurse, licensed practical nurse, or a parademic? It depends, although at least one state has said yes to both questions in an obscure piece of regulation. More broadly, is it necessary for physicians working in or with a medical spa to be housed within a professional medical corporation? Can they be employees or must they be independent contractors? How should the flow of payments be managed: does it make a difference whether patients write the check out to the doctor for the procedure, or to the medical spa? Does the Board of Cosmetology regulate the procedure, or just the practitioner? Does the medical spa require an establishment license, and is this something the aesthetic (or anti-aging) physician should worry about, or should the MD or DO just leave it up to the medical spa owner?

Our law office can advise and help clients navigate the complex intersection of corporate practice of medicine laws, federal anti-kickback and state fee-splitting rules, business structure, liability issues, and insurance questions. Our clients include medical spas, integrative medicine clinics, holistic health care and wellness centers, and similar organizations that are bridging spa treatments, holistic health and wellness care, and medical (or aesthetic medical, cosmetic, and beauty treatments). We will be available (as appropriate under a proper attorney-client agreement) to members of the International Association for Physicians in Aesthetic Medicine, among others, for professional legal services whether we are asked to represent the entrepreneur, business owner, or medical spa (or integrative care center) or the physician or other clinician. We don't have all the answers, but we do have some useful templates based on our experience to date in this complex and emerging field. For more information, please see our Law Offices FAQs. And do check out the IAPAM's signature 2-day Aesthetic Medicine Symposium, which "combines the business and clinical aspects of incorporating aesthetic medicine procedures into your practice, along with one year practice support," including medical aesthetic training, and even offers continuing medical education (CME) credit.
The Law Offices of Michael H. Cohen offers corporate legal services, litigation consultation, and expertise in health law with a unique focus on holistic, alternative, complementary, and integrative medical therapies. The law firm represents medical doctors, allied health professionals (from psychologists to nurses and dentists) and other clinicians (from chiropractors to naturopathic physicians, massage therapists, and acupuncturists), entrepreneurs, hospitals, and educational organizations, health care institutions, and individuals and corporations.

Michael H. Cohen is Principal in Law Offices of Michael H. Cohen and also President of The Institute for Integrative and Energy Medicine, a nonprofit organization exploring legal, regulatory, ethical, and health policy issues in the judicious integration of complementary and alternative medical therapies (such as acupuncture and traditional oriental medicine, chiropractic, naturopathic medicine, homeopathy, massage therapy, energy healing, and herbal medicine) and conventional clinical care. Michael H. Cohen is author of books on health care law, regulation, ethics and policy dealing with complementary, alternative and integrative medicine, including Healing at the Borderland of Medicine and Religion, Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Legal Boundaries and Regulatory Perspectives (1998), Beyond Complementary Medicine: Legal and Ethical Perspectives on Health Care and Human Evolution (2000), and Future Medicine: Ethical Dilemmas, Regulatory Challenges, and Therapeutic Pathways to Health Care and Healing in Human Transformation (2003).
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Health care and corporate lawyer Michael H. Cohen has been admitted to the Bar of California, Massachusetts, New York, and Washington D.C. In addition to qualifying as a U.S. attorney, he has been admitted and to the Bar of England and Wales as a Solicitor (non-practicing). For more information regarding the law practice of attorney Michael H. Cohen, see the FAQs for the Law Offices of Michael H. Cohen. Thank you for visiting the Complementary and Alternative Medicine Law Blog.
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Michael H. Cohen, Esq.; 468 North Camden Dr. | Beverly Hills, California 90210 | 310-844-3173