CAMLAW: Complementary and Alternative Medicine Law Blog

Laws regulating who can perform cosmetic laser procedures

Who can legally perform cosmetic procedures including laser surgery?

The answer varies by state law.  Sometimes only a physician may perform cosmetic procedures involving lasers as these are considered the practice of medicine.

Below is the law in Georgia. For more information regarding your intregrative or holistic health center or medical spa about the legality of cosmetic procedures including laser, Botox, Restalyne, and other aesthetic medical treatments, contact one of our medical spa and health care law attorneys today.

   Code 1981, § 43-34-240, enacted by Ga. L. 2007, p. 626, § 1/HB 528; Code 1981, § 43-34-241, enacted by Ga. L. 2007, p. 626, § 1/HB 528; 

ARTICLE 9. COSMETIC LASER SERVICES

 

§ 43-34-240. (For effective date, see note.) Short title

This article shall be known and may be cited as the "Georgia Cosmetic Laser

Services Act."

 

HISTORY:

Ga. L. 2009, p. 859, § 1/HB 509.

§ 43-34-241. (For effective date, see note.) Legislative findings; purpose

This article is enacted for the purpose of safeguarding the public health, safety,

and welfare by providing for state administrative control, supervision, and regulation

of the practice of providing cosmetic laser services. It is the intention of the General

Assembly that cosmetic laser services be made available and affordable to the people

of this state in a safe, reliable manner. Unregulated cosmetic laser services do not

adequately meet the needs or serve the interests of the public. Licensure of those

performing cosmetic laser services and required education and training of such

practitioners will help ensure the health and safety of consumers. The practice of

providing cosmetic laser services is declared to be affected with the public interest;

and this article shall be liberally construed so as to accomplish the purpose stated in

this Code section.

 

HISTORY:

Ga. L. 2009, p. 859, § 1/HB 509.

§ 43-34-242. (For effective date, see note.) Definitions

As used in this article, the term:

(1) "Board" means the Georgia Composite Medical Board created by Code Section

43-34-2.

(2) "Consulting physician" means a person licensed to practice medicine under

Article 2 of this chapter and:

(A) Whose principal place of practice is within this state; or

(B) Whose principal place of practice is outside this state but is within 50 miles

from the facility with whom he or she has an agreement to provide services in

accordance with Code Section 43-34-248.

(3) "Consumer" means a person on whom cosmetic laser services are or are to be

performed.

(4) "Cosmetic laser practitioner" means a person licensed under this article to

provide cosmetic laser services as defined in this article and whose license is in good

standing.

(5) "Cosmetic laser services" means nonablative elective cosmetic light based skin

care, photo rejuvenation, or hair removal using lasers or pulsed light devices

approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration for noninvasive

 

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procedures. Such services and the provision thereof shall not be considered to be the

practice of medicine.

(6) "Facility" means any location, place, area, structure, office, institution, or

business or a part thereof in which is performed or provided cosmetic laser services

regardless of whether a fee is charged for such services.

(7) "License" means a valid and current certificate of registration issued by the

board which shall give the person to whom it is issued authority to engage in the

practice prescribed thereon.

(8) "Licensee" means any person holding a license under this article.

(9) "Medical practitioner" means a registered professional nurse, nurse

practitioner, physician assistant, or physician.

(10) "Nurse" means a registered professional nurse or nurse practitioner.

(11) "Person" means a natural person.

 

 

 Code 1981, § 43-34-242, enacted by Ga. L. 2007, p. 626, § 1/HB 528; 

HISTORY:

Ga. L. 2009, p. 859, § 1/HB 509; Ga. L. 2009, p. 989, § 1/SB 104.

§ 43-34-243. (For effective date, see note.) Permitted activities

This article shall not be construed to prohibit:

(1) A licensed physician from engaging in the practice for which he or she is

licensed;

(2) A licensed physician assistant from engaging in the practice for which he or she

is licensed;

(3) A person licensed by this state as a registered professional nurse, licensed

practical nurse, or nurse practitioner from engaging in his or her profession;

(4) A licensed esthetician from engaging in his or her profession;

(5) A master cosmetologist from engaging in his or her profession;

(6) Any person licensed under any other article of this chapter from engaging in

the practice for which he or she is licensed;

(7) A person licensed in this state under any other law from engaging in the

practice for which he or she is licensed;

(8) The practice of providing cosmetic laser services by a person who is employed

by the federal government or any bureau, division, or agency of the federal

government while in the discharge of the employee's official duties;

(9) The practice of providing cosmetic laser services by a student enrolled in an

accredited school of nursing or medical school as part of his or her training; or

 

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(10) Employees or authorized representatives of a manufacturer of a laser used for

cosmetic laser services from engaging in one or more of the following: evaluating,

adjusting, measuring, designing, fabricating, assembling, fitting, servicing, training,

repairing, replacing, or delivering a laser used to provide cosmetic laser services

under the order, direction, or prescription of a physician or health provider operating

within his or her licensed scope of practice.

 

 

 Code 1981, § 43-34-243, enacted by Ga. L. 2007, p. 626, § 1/HB 528; 

HISTORY:

Ga. L. 2009, p. 859, § 1/HB 509.

§ 43-34-244. (For effective date, see note.) Two levels of license; application

(a) There shall be two levels of a license for a cosmetic laser practitioner: assistant

laser practitioner and senior laser practitioner.

(b) Any person desiring to obtain a license as a cosmetic laser practitioner under the

terms of this article shall make application to the board as follows:

(1) An applicant for an "assistant laser practitioner" license shall present proof that

he or she:

(A) Holds a current valid license or certificate of registration as a physician

assistant, licensed practical nurse, nurse, esthetician, or master cosmetologist, or

has previously held a license or certificate of registration as a medical practitioner;

and

(B) Has received at least three laser certificates from attending laser/intense

pulsed light (IPL) courses as approved by the board, directly taught by a licensed

physician or certified continuing medical education or continuing education educator.

If, after review of the application, it is determined that the applicant is at least 21

years of age; has met the minimum educational requirements; is of good moral

character; and is possessed of the requisite skill to perform properly cosmetic laser

services, a license shall be issued to the applicant entitling the applicant to practice

the occupation of cosmetic laser practitioner at the assistant laser practitioner level

under the on-site supervision of a senior laser practitioner.

(2) An applicant for a "senior laser practitioner" license shall present proof that he

or she:

(A) Holds a current valid license or certificate of registration as a physician

assistant or nurse or has previously held a license or certificate of registration as a

medical practitioner;

(B) Has at least three years of clinical or technological medical experience, or

both;

(C) Has been or was licensed or nationally board certified as a medical

practitioner for at least three years; and

(D) Has received at least two laser certificates from attending laser/intense

pulsed light (IPL) continuing medical education courses as approved by the board,

directly taught by a licensed physician or certified continuing medical education or

continuing education educator. If, after review of the application, it is determined

 

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that the applicant is at least 21 years of age; has met the minimum educational and

clinical training requirements to perform cosmetic laser services with indirect

supervision; is of good moral character; and is possessed of the requisite skill to

perform properly these services, a license shall be issued to the applicant entitling

the applicant to practice the occupation of cosmetic laser practitioner at the senior

laser practitioner level pursuant to the protocols of a consulting physician.

(c) Any person desiring to obtain a license as an "assistant laser practitioner" who

does not meet the requirements of paragraph (1) of subsection (b) of this Code

section shall also be eligible for a license as an "assistant laser practitioner" if he or

she makes application to the board within nine months of the effective date of this

article and presents proof that he or she:

(1) Prior to the effective date of this article, obtained a minimum of at least 2,000

hours of experience in administering cosmetic laser service; and

(2) Has received at least two laser certificates from attending laser/intense pulsed

light (IPL) courses, directly taught by a licensed physician or certified continuing

medical education or continuing education educator.

(d) Should an applicant have a current cosmetic laser practitioner license or

certificate of registration in force from another state, country, territory of the United

States, or the District of Columbia, where similar reciprocity is extended to this state

and licensure requirements are substantially equal to those in this state, and have

paid a fee and have submitted an application, the applicant may be issued a license

at the appropriate level entitling him or her to practice the occupation of a cosmetic

laser practitioner at that level, unless the board, in its discretion, sees fit to require a

written or a practical examination subject to the terms and provisions of this article.

 

 

 Code 1981, § 43-34-244, enacted by Ga. L. 2007, p. 626, § 1/HB 528; 

HISTORY:

Ga. L. 2009, p. 859, § 1/HB 509; Ga. L. 2009, p. 989, § 2/SB 104.

§ 43-34-245. (For effective date, see note.) Expiration of licenses; license renewal

(a) All licenses shall expire biennially unless renewed. All applications for renewal

of a license shall be filed with the board prior to the expiration date, accompanied by

the biennial renewal fee prescribed by the board. A license which has expired for

failure of the holder to renew may only be restored after application and payment of

the prescribed restoration fee within the time period established by the board and

provided the applicant meets such requirements as the board may establish by rule.

Any license which has not been restored within such period following its expiration

may not be renewed, restored, or reissued thereafter. The holder of such a canceled

license may apply for and obtain a valid license only upon compliance with all

relevant requirements for issuance of a new license.

(b) As a condition of license renewal, the board shall require licensees to provide

proof, in a form approved by the board, of a minimum of five hours of continuing

education courses as approved by the board in the area of cosmetic laser services,

equipment safety and operation, procedures, and relative skin modalities, directly

taught by a licensed physician or certified continuing medical education or continuing

education educator.

 

92

HISTORY:

 

 

Code 1981, § 43-34-245, enacted by Ga. L. 2007, p. 626, § 1/HB 528; Code 1981, § 43-34-246, enacted by Ga. L. 2007, p. 626, § 1/HB 528; Code 1981, § 43-34-247, enacted by Ga. L. 2007, p. 626, § 1/HB 528; 

Ga. L. 2009, p. 859, § 1/HB 509.

§ 43-34-246. (For effective date, see note.) Sanctions

The board may impose on a cosmetic laser practitioner or applicant any sanction

authorized under subsection (b) of Code Section 43-34-8 upon a finding of any

conduct specified in subsection (a) of Code Section 43-34-8.

 

HISTORY:

Ga. L. 2009, p. 859, § 1/HB 509.

§ 43-34-247. (For effective date, see note.) Petition to restrain or enjoin unlicensed

cosmetic laser practitioner

The practice of providing cosmetic laser services is declared to be an activity

affecting the public interest and involving the health, safety, and welfare of the

public. Such practice when engaged in by a person who is not licensed as a cosmetic

laser practitioner or otherwise licensed to practice a profession which is permitted

under law to perform cosmetic laser services is declared to be harmful to the public

health, safety, and welfare. The board or the district attorney of the circuit where

such unlicensed practice exists, or any person or organization having an interest

therein, may bring a petition to restrain and enjoin such unlicensed practice in the

superior court of the county where such unlicensed person resides. It shall not be

necessary in order to obtain an injunction under this Code section to allege or prove

that there is no adequate remedy at law, or to allege or prove any special injury.

 

HISTORY:

Ga. L. 2009, p. 859, § 1/HB 509.

§ 43-34-248. (For effective date, see note.) Agreement with consulting physician

(a) Any facility providing cosmetic laser services other than hair removal using

lasers or pulsed light devices shall have an agreement with a consulting physician

who shall:

(1) Be trained in laser modalities;

(2) Establish proper protocols for the cosmetic laser services provided at the

facility and file such protocols with the board;

(3) Examine each patient prior to any cosmetic laser service other than hair

removal using lasers or pulsed light devices being performed; provided, however,

that a consulting physician may delegate the authority to perform such examination

to a physician's assistant who is a licensed cosmetic laser practitioner, in accordance

with a job description approved by the board, or to a registered professional nurse

who is also an advanced practice registered nurse as defined in paragraph (1.1) of

Code Section 43-26-3 and who is a licensed cosmetic laser practitioner, pursuant to

a protocol approved by the board; and provided, further, that in facilities subject to

the provisions of Code Section 43-34-249.1 such delegation may be to: (A) a

physician's assistant who is not required to be a licensed cosmetic laser practitioner,

in accordance with a job description approved by the board; or (B) a registered

professional nurse who is also an advanced practice registered nurse who is not

 

93

required to be a licensed cosmetic laser practitioner, in accordance with a protocol

approved by the board; and

(4) Be available for emergency consultation with the cosmetic laser practitioner or

anyone employed by the facility.

(b) Any facility providing cosmetic laser services other than hair removal using lasers

or pulsed light devices shall have a supervisor present at the facility or immediately

available for consultation and supervision either personally or via

telecommunications. The supervisor shall supervise the performance of all cosmetic

laser services performed by a person other than the consulting physician. The

supervisor shall be a physician licensed under this chapter who is trained in laser

modalities or a senior laser practitioner.

(c) (1) Any facility providing cosmetic laser services other than hair removal using

lasers or pulsed light devices shall post a sign listing the consulting physician's name,

emergency contact number, his or her board certification and specialty, and the

address of his or her principal place of practice, and indicating whether he or she is

presently on site at the facility.

(2) If the consulting physician is not on site for any period of time during which the

facility is open, the facility shall post a sign indicating who is presently acting as the

supervisor for the facility and that person's name, emergency contact number, his or

her degrees and qualifications, and the type of cosmetic laser practitioner license

held.

 

 

 Code 1981, § 43-34-248, enacted by Ga. L. 2007, p. 626, § 1/HB 528; 

HISTORY:

Ga. L. 2009, p. 859, § 1/HB 509; Ga. L. 2009, p. 989, § 3/SB 104.

§ 43-34-249. (For effective date, see note.) Informed consent

(a) Prior to receiving cosmetic laser services from a cosmetic laser practitioner, a

person must consent in writing to such services and shall be informed in writing of

the general terms of the following:

(1) The nature and purpose of such proposed procedure;

(2) Any material risks generally recognized and associated with the cosmetic laser

service to be performed which, if disclosed to a reasonably prudent person in the

customer's position, could reasonably be expected to cause such prudent person to

decline such proposed cosmetic laser services on the basis of the material risk of

injury that could result from such proposed services;

(3) The name of, degrees and qualifications held by, and type of licenses obtained

by the individual who will be performing the cosmetic laser service, and with respect

to cosmetic laser services other than hair removal, the supervisor and the consulting

physician;

(4) The steps to be followed after the cosmetic laser service is performed in the

event of any complications; and

(5) With respect to cosmetic laser services other than hair removal, the emergency

contact information for the consulting physician and the address of his or her

 

94

principal place of practice.

(a.1) After receiving each cosmetic laser service other than hair removal, a person

shall be informed in writing of the information required by paragraphs (4) and (5) of

subsection (a) of this Code section.

(b) It shall be the responsibility of the cosmetic laser practitioner to ensure that the

information required by subsections (a) and (a.1) of this Code section is disclosed

and that the consent provided for in this Code section is obtained.

(c) Where the consumer is under 18 years of age, the consent of the consumer's

parent or legal guardian shall be required.

(d) The board shall be required to adopt and have the authority to promulgate rules

and regulations governing and establishing the standards necessary to implement

this Code section specifically including but not limited to the disciplining of a

cosmetic laser practitioner who fails to comply with this Code section.

(e) Nothing in this Code section shall prohibit the information provided for in this

Code section from being disclosed through the use of video tapes, audio tapes,

pamphlets, booklets, or other means of communication or through conversations

with the cosmetic laser practitioner; provided, however, that such information is also

provided in writing and attached to the consent form which the consumer signs.

 

 

 Code 1981, § 43-34-249, enacted by Ga. L. 2007, p. 626, § 1/HB 528; Code 1981, § 43-34-249.1, enacted by Ga. L. 2009, p. 989, § 5/SB 104. 

HISTORY:

Ga. L. 2009, p. 859, § 1/HB 509; Ga. L. 2009, p. 989, § 4/SB 104.

§ 43-34-249.1. (For effective date, see note.) Waiver

The board shall have the authority to waive the requirements of subsection (c) of

Code Section 43-34-248 and paragraph (5) of subsection (a) of Code Section 43-34-

249 for facilities offering cosmetic laser services which serve as a principal place of

practice at which a physician regularly sees patients if medical services are regularly

performed at such facilities. For purposes of this Code section, "medical services"

shall mean the general and usual services and care rendered and administered by a

physician.

 

HISTORY:

§ 43-34-250. (For effective date, see note.) Advisory committee

The board shall appoint an advisory committee. The advisory committee shall

include licensed cosmetic laser practitioners licensed under this article and such

members as the board in its discretion may determine. The advisory committee shall

include at least one person licensed to practice medicine under this chapter and

specialized in a field with expertise in the biologic behavior of the skin. Members

shall receive no compensation for service on the committee. The committee shall

have such advisory duties and responsibilities as the board may determine, including

but not limited to consulting with the board on the issuance, denial, suspension, and

revocation of licenses and the promulgation of rules and regulations under this

article. The initial members of the advisory committee may include persons eligible

for licensing under this article. Subsequent advisory committee members must be

licensed pursuant to this article.

 

95

HISTORY:

 

 

Code 1981, § 43-34-250, enacted by Ga. L. 2007, p. 626, § 1/HB 528; Code 1981, § 43-34-251, enacted by Ga. L. 2007, p. 626, § 1/HB 528; Code 1981, § 43-34-252, enacted by Ga. L. 2007, p. 626, § 1/HB 528; Code 1981, § 43-34-253, enacted by Ga. L. 2007, p. 626, § 1/HB 528;

 

You can be liable for a blogger's enthusiasm

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FTC rules regarding testimonials and endorsements can make you liable as an advertiser for false and misleading claims made by someone who describes your product on a blog.

These FTC rules show why it's important to have a qualified attorney review your legal situation, including your website and any disclaimers that may be necessary.

The FTC notes:

A skin care products advertiser participates in a blog advertising service. The
service matches up advertisers with bloggers who will promote the advertiser’s products on
their personal blogs. The advertiser requests that a blogger try a new body lotion and write
a review of the product on her blog. Although the advertiser does not make any specific
claims about the lotion’s ability to cure skin conditions and the blogger does not ask the
advertiser whether there is substantiation for the claim, in her review the blogger writes
that the lotion cures eczema and recommends the product to her blog readers who suffer
from this condition. The advertiser is subject to liability for misleading or unsubstantiated
The Commission tested the communication o 1 f advertisements containing testimonials
that clearly and prominently disclosed either “Results not typical” or the stronger “These
testimonials are based on the experiences of a few people and you are not likely to have similar results.” Neither disclosure adequately reduced the communication that the experiences depicted are generally representative. Based upon this research, the Commission believes that similar disclaimers regarding the limited applicability of an endorser’s experience to what consumers may generally expect to achieve are unlikely to be effective.

Nonetheless, the Commission cannot rule out the possibility that a strong disclaimer of
typicality could be effective in the context of a particular advertisement. Although the
Commission would have the burden of proof in a law enforcement action, the Commission notes that an advertiser possessing reliable empirical testing demonstrating that the net impression of its advertisement with such a disclaimer is non-deceptive will avoid the risk of the initiation of such an action in the first instance. representations made through the blogger’s endorsement. The blogger also is subject to liability for misleading or unsubstantiated representations made in the course of her endorsement. The blogger is also liable if she fails to disclose clearly and conspicuously that she is being paid for her services.

That's the strange truth about Federal Trade Commission rules regarding false, misleading and deceptive advertising.

The FTC publishes its Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising online. Our lawyers frequently do website review for FTC compliance and give legal advice to many new businesses seeking website user agreements, disclaimers, privacy policies, and legal advice.

It's better to steer clear of trouble ahead of time than incur a potentially large fine down the road.

To assess your healthcare legal and regulatory issues, contact the Michael H. Cohen Law Group.  Our healthcare and FDA legal team counsels health and wellness products and technologies, practices, and ventures, that accelerate health and healing.


Michael H CohenMichael H Cohen
Founder
The Los Angeles / San Francisco / Bay Area-based Michael H Cohen Law Group provides healthcare legal and FDA legal & regulatory counsel to health & wellness practices and ventures, including health technology companies (medical devices to wearable health and nanotech), healthcare facilities (from medical centers to medical spas), and healthcare service providers (from physicians to psychologists).Our legal team offers expertise in corporate & transactional, healthcare regulatory & compliance, and healthcare litigation and dispute resolution, in cutting-edge areas such as anti-aging and functional medicine, telemedicine and m-health, and concierge medicine.Our Founder, attorney Michael H. Cohen, is an author, speaker on healthcare law and FDA law, and internationally-recognized thought leader in the trillion-dollar health & wellness industry.

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