CAMLAW: Complementary and Alternative Medicine Law Blog

Legal enforcement pressures increase for medical spas

Medical spas are facing greater regulatory enforcement and legal attention as authorities step up sweeps.

The California Medical Board just released a press release announcing one such action:

Medical Board investigation leads to criminal charges
against four suspects for practicing medicine without a license

SACRAMENTO — After being charged with the crimes of practicing medicine without a license and conspiring to aid and abet the unlicensed practice of medicine, four suspects have agreed to surrender pursuant to warrants issued for their arrest. The criminal charges against all four suspects stem from an investigation by investigators with the Medical Board of California’s Operation Safe Medicine. "The mission of the Medical Board is public protection, and this action reflects the Board's ongoing commitment to that mission," said Linda Whitney, executive director of the Medical Board.

Charged with felonies was Dana Elise Payinda, owner of Laser Solutions in Beverly Hills, CA for practicing medicine without a license. Debra Beth Luftman, M.D. was charged with aiding and abetting the unlicensed practice of medicine. Tracy Lynn Poire and Kimberly Benner, R.N. were also charged with practicing medicine.

The Medical Board received a complaint alleging that medical procedures were being conducted at Laser Solutions, and inappropriate medical services were being provided. Undercover operations confirmed that medical treatments were being rendered by non-physicians and prescription medications were being sold without a physician’s order or without the patient being seen by a doctor.

Investigators from the Board’s Operation Safe Medicine served a search warrant in December and seized evidence of illegal ownership and the illegal practice of medicine.

The public record documents in this case can be accessed on our Web site at www.mbc.ca.gov under the heading “Enforcement Public Documents.”

Consumers are urged to verify the medical license of any practitioner prior to receiving any medical services by contacting the Board, www.mbc.ca.gov or (800) 633-2322.

Notably, enforcement is going beyond the cease-and-desist letter and into criminal sanctions for unlicensed practice of medicine.

Medical spas can face a variety of medi-spa legal challenges, including:

In order to properly address legal compliance, whether to mitigate risks and stave off enforcement action, or to handle an investigation, medical spa owners and clinicians should consult with experienced medi-spa legal counsel.  Contact a skilled health care lawyer who understands the medical spa business and larger wellness industry, and who can provide appropriate legal guidance and counsel.

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Michael H. Cohen, Esq.; 468 North Camden Dr. | Beverly Hills, California 90210 | 310-844-3173