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8 questions about medical spas and med spa marketing

More patients are turning to medical spas to enhance their physical appearance and boost their confidence. Get need-to-know information about med spas and med spa marketing.

Many patients want more from their doctors than traditional medical treatment. These patients — whether Baby Boomers or Millennials — turn to medical spas for a way to improve their appearance and boost their confidence.

Read on to get answers to common questions asked by physicians who are considering expanding their practice to include a medical spa.

Your questions about medical spas and med spa marketing answered

1. What is a medical spa?

A medical spa — also known as a medical spa or medspa — is a spa-like facility that offers elective often appearance-improving procedures under the care and direction of a trained physician and a team of nurses and aestheticians. These elective procedures vary in nature, but almost all of them have the same goal: to rejuvenate or pamper the patient.

You might like: How doctors can modernize the patient experience

2. Why are med spas growing in popularity?

Patients flock to med spas to receive a different type of care than that which doctors offer in their traditional practices. USA Today reports that, in 2013, med spas represented nearly $2 billion in revenue.

Although insufficient regulations render it impossible to accurately determine the number of medical spas in the United States, experts agree on the industry’s rapid growth. Patti Biro, education director for the International Medical Spa Association, confirms this. “This is more than a trend,” she said. “It is a movement.”

3. Who can operate a med spa?

Physicians, physician’s assistants, registered nurses, and licensed aestheticians perform almost every service provided at a med spa. A physician manages the medical spa, but is not always required to be on-site. Most states lack strong regulations for med spas, creating worrisomely lax standard across most of the country.

“It’s not like hospitals that have to be inspected by the Department of Health,” says  Jeff Howell, Director of Government Affairs for the Missouri State Medical Association. “An industry like this develops and regulation seems to follow. It’s like Uber or payday loans, the regulations come after.”

Internet articles warn would-be clients about the perils of med spas not directly overseen by a physician. Provide patients access to the services they desire without putting them at risk by opening a safe, sterile, and well-staffed med spa within or adjacent to your doctor’s office.

4. What does a med spa offer patients that my practice does not?

Although your practice should alreeady aim to make patients feel prioritized and unrushed, most visits to a medical office are no day at the spa for your patients. Medical spas offer a slower-paced, relaxing, and patient-centric experience. A med spa provides your patients with the opportunity to truly discuss with you their wants and desires, not just their illnesses and symptoms.

Dr. Monica Gavin, who runs a med spa in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, explains to Everyday Health that going to a medical spa is “like going to a day spa, but for medical treatments.” Med spas, the article continues, boast top-notch customer service and feel luxurious. Med spas typically do not accept insurance, as they offer almost exclusively elective procedures that improve appearance. Patients pay fully out-of-pocket, so they expect extraordinary service.

5. What treatments can I offer at a med spa?

Physician-run med spas offer a wide variety of services, including:

 

  • Facials, chemical peels, and microdermabrasion
  • Facial fillers and Botox injections
  • Permanent makeup and tattoo removal
  • Medical pedicures and customized foot treatments
  • Laser hair removal
  • Varicose and spider vein treatment
  • Reflexology

Says Dr. Faramarz Samie, a Philadelphia-based dermatologist in Philadelphia to Everyday Health: “The key is to go to a medispa where a physician determines your treatment plan and oversees the way it’s carried out.”

Look: 4 ideas to market new aesthetic services to current patients

6. How much should I charge for med spa services?

Take a look at your local competition, ignoring any shady or non-reputable operations. You want to compete with best-in-town physicians and their med spas.

Dr. Bela Pandit, a foot and ankle specialist with a practice in Chicago, explicitly lists her pricing on her user-friendly, information-rich website. Some services cost only a little, but most are expensive.

Again, med spas rarely accept insurance, so instead of trying to advertise a bargain, advertise your quality. Demonstrate a commitment to safety, serenity, and luxury with professional pictures that show off your clean, modern spa. Prove to your potential patients that your med spa is worth every penny.

7. How will patients know my med spa is safe?

The Medical Board of California implores consumers to research five key facts prior to undergoing treatment at a med spa. Address your potential clients’ concerns head-on by following these steps:

 

  • List the licensure status of each person who provides each procedure. Include links where licensure and board certification can be confirmed.
  • Disclose any and all risks of desired procedures to potential patients.
  • Inspect your med spa regularly to ensure a sterile, safe environment.
  • Prepare contingency plans for any emergencies that might arise.
  • Commit to providing the highest quality service available and purchase all medicines and equipment from authorized, reputable medical wholesalers and retailers.

8. How do I ensure good med spa marketing?

For starters, the same way you market your successful, modern traditional medical practice: with robust service content about med spa treatments and compelling visuals (before-and-after pictures work well here).

Offer online booking so that potential customers can schedule an appointment at any time, create separate social media pages for your meds pa, and add med spa services to your Google My Business profile and all directory profiles.

Listen: Med spa marketing tips for your practice

Med spas: a new sensation popping up in doctors’ offices

Med spas provide a unique and increasingly-popular way to pamper your patients with services they desire. If you decide to add these services, utilize proven healthcare marketing strategies that grow business and improve your online reputation. Create a serene, sterile environment for your patients to enjoy a spa-like experience under your care. They’ll be paying spa-like prices, so pamper them!

Up next: How to grow your practice by selling retail products

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