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8 Things to Know About Adding a Medispa to Your Practice

Many patients need more from physicians than traditional medical advice, and they turn to medical spas for a scientifically-sound way to boost confidence.

Many patients nowadays need more from their physicians than traditional medical advice and treatments. These patients, whether baby boomers or millennials, turn to medical spas for a scientifically-sound, safe way to improve their appearance and boost their confidence. Read on to get answers to eight questions frequently asked by physicians wondering if opening a medispa could be their next big business move.

1. What's a Medispa?

A medispa, 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 even pamper — the patient.

2. Why are Medispas Becoming Such Phenomena?

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

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

“It’s not like hospitals that have to be inspected by the Department of Health. An industry like this develops and regulation seems to follow. It’s like Uber or payday loans, the regulations come after.”

Jeff Howell, Director of Government Affairs for the Missouri State Medical Association (Source)

Internet articles warn would-be clients about the perils of medispas 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 medispa within or adjacent to your doctor’s office. Dr. Bela Pandit runs an in-office medispa that complements her ankle and foot clinics in Evergreen, Illinois. This enables her to run her busy traditional practice while simultaneously overseeing her medispa.

4. What Does a Medispa Offer My Patients that My Practice Cannot?

A slower-paced, relaxing, and patient-centric experience, for starters. While your traditional practice should aim to make patients feel prioritized and unrushed, most visits to a medical office — what with referrals, insurance authorizations, and 15-minute appointment slots — are no day at the spa for your patients. A medispa 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 medispa in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, explains to Everyday Health that going to a medical spa is “like going to a day spa, but for medical treatments.” Medispas, the article continues, boast top-notch customer service and feel luxurious. Medispas 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 My Medispa?

Physician-run medispas 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.”

6. How Much Should I Charge for These Services?

Take a look at your local competition, and ignore any shady or non-reputable operations. You want to compete with best-in-town physicians and their medispas. Dr. Pandit explicitly lists her pricing — which ranges from a $35 basic medical pedicure to $875 for laser hair removal — on her user-friendly, information-rich website. Some services cost only a little, but most are expensive. Again, medispas 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 customers that your medispa is worth every penny.

7. How Will Patients Know My Medispa is Safe?

The Medical Board of California implores consumers to research five key facts prior to undergoing treatment at a medispa. 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 medispa regularly to ensure a sterile, safe environment.

Prepare contingency plans for any emergencies that may arise.

Commit to providing the highest quality service available and purchase all medicines and equipment from authorized, reputable medical wholesalers and retailers.

8. How Should I Market My Medispa?

For starters, the same way you market your successful, modern traditional medical practice: with robust service content about medispa treatments and compelling visuals — before-and-after pics work well here. Offer online booking so that potential customers can schedule an appointment, discretely, at any time. Create separate social media pages for your medispa and add those services to Google My Business, and all directory profiles.

Medispas, A New Sensation Popping Up in Doctors’ Offices

Medispas provide a unique and increasingly-popular way to pamper your patients with services they truly 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. After all, they’ll be paying spa-like prices – so pamper them!

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