Intravenous (“IV”) therapy has been around in hospitals and medical practices for decades as a means to quickly provide an infusion of fluids and medicines to patients. However, with the growth of aesthetic facilities, like medical spas (“med spas”), more business are attempting to offer quick, alternative ways of improving an individual’s health, look and feel (See All in ‘Vein?’…IV Bars Face Controversy). As such, IV Bars are a growing trend, allowing individuals quick access to hangover treatments via IV hydration with an infusion of vitamins and nutrients. Additionally, some of these facilities offer ongoing treatment to promote anti-aging and revitalization. What many owners of these facilities do not realize is that the piercing of skin via the IV is the practice of medicine in many states, including Texas.
While these procedures are commonly referred to as “cosmetic treatments,” under Texas law, all procedures that involve the injection of medication or substances for cosmetic purposes are considered medical procedures. In fact, Texas law designates them “nonsurgical medical cosmetic procedures.” As such, this limits the ownership of an IV Bar to only a select number of licensed medical providers in many states due to the corporate practice of medicine doctrine, and the supervision requirements over those providing medical services.
As previously discussed by this firm (See 123s of Med Spas), the first major consideration is the prohibition against the “corporate practice of medicine.” This is a rule many states have adopted that prohibits lay people or lay entities from employing physicians or offering professional medical services. States that have strong corporate practice of medicine rules include Texas and California. These states, along with several others, explicitly provide that providing the types of non-invasive, elective procedures that an IV Bar does entails the practice of medicine. As a result, this prohibition must be taken into account when setting up an IV Bar.
The second major consideration in establishing and owning an IV Bar is proper supervision. Each state delineates who can provide certain types of medical services, which in Texas, includes IV Bar services. For example, every state generally requires that only licensed physicians perform surgery on a patient. But not all states specifically outline what kind of licensing and training is required for someone to provide elective non-invasive services. However, the Texas Administrative Code (“TAC”), Section 193.17, “Nonsurgical Medical Cosmetic Procedures” does provide additional guidance on supervision and training for Texas-based medical facilities. Based on this rule, IV Bars must follow the same supervision requirements set forth in the TAC.
Based on the above limitations, those non-physicians, wishing to enter into the nonsurgical cosmetic treatments need to make sure they understand the limitations and develop corporate models that are legal under state laws. For more information and guidance on setting up IV Bars or staffing an IV Bar please schedule a consult at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ByrdAdatto released an update to this article which can be read here.