Medesthetics

NOV-DEC 2016

MedEsthetics—business education for medical practitioners—provides the latest noninvasive cosmetic procedures, treatment trends, product and equipment reviews, legal issues and medical aesthetics industry news.

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The State legislature of North Carolina has approved legislation (NCGS 90-14(a)(6)) ensuring that: The Board shall not remove the license of or deny a li- cense to a person solely because of that persons' practice of therapy that is experimental, non traditional or that departs from acceptable and prevailing medical practices unless, by competent evidence, the Board can establish that the treatment has a safety risk greater than the prevailing treatment or that the treatment is generally not effective. PROTECTING YOUR PRACTICE In total, there are 11 states that have Health Freedom laws: North Carolina, Texas, Minnesota, California, Rhode Island, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Idaho, Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico. Although these state medical boards have acknowledged the trend toward alternative medicine and are seeking ways to address the additional scrutiny faced by alternative medicine providers, most states are lagging behind. Therefore, practitioners must continue to use caution when offering any form of alternative medicine, particularly when it comes to advertising and promoting the these treatments. The FTC governs commercial advertising and requires all forms of physician advertising (print, radio, television, internet) to be explicitly and implicitly truthful, and not mis- leading. According to the FTC: • Advertising must be truthful and non-deceptive; • Advertisers must have evidence to back up their claims; • Advertisements cannot be unfair. The agency considers an advertisement deceptive if it "is likely to mislead consumers acting reasonably under the circumstances" and if the information in the advertisement "is material—that is, important to a consumer's decision to buy or use that product." Failure to follow these regulations can result in sanctions for unprofessional conduct by your state medical board as well as fi nes and penalties. The FTC will prosecute physicians who advertise experimental treatments or pro cedures that have never been proven to result in the desired outcome, so physicians need to be aware of—and carefully review—any claims they are making on their web- sites relating to the effi cacy of the alternative treatments they provide. Aside from medical professionals, there are also un licensed alternative therapy practitioners, such as aromatherapists, herbalists, iridologists and health/well- ness coaches who may be working within an aesthetic practice or medspa. It is imperative to review your state's educational requirements and scope-of-practice require- ments for these unlicensed providers if they are working within your facility. Allyson Avila is a partner at the national law fi rm of Gordon & Rees Scully Mansukhani. Contact her at 845.406.2935, aavila@gordonrees.com. LEGAL ISSUES Practitioners must use caution when off ering any form of alternative medicine, particularly when it comes to advertising and promoting these treatments. 18 NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016 | Med Esthetics HEMMA © GETTY IMAGES

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