KENTUCKY Bill Seeks to Regulate and License Medical Spas

Posted By American Med Spa Association, Monday, February 7, 2022

Bill Name: House Bill 340 (HB 340) 

Primary Sponsor: Representatives Jonathan Dixon and D.J. Johnson

Status: FAILED 3/16/22 Passed House Referred to Senate Health & Welfare Committee

AmSpa’s Take: The requirement for onsite supervision and the creation of a medical spa facility license are more restrictive and complicated than what is found in most other states. This bill leaves the final setting of many of the rules to the individual boards so there is no indication of how easy the compliance will be.

Outlook: This bill is in the first steps of the process and, based on the sponsor’s past records and party, it is more likely to pass. However, the bill is currently only sponsored by the two representatives, so it may lack broader support.

Analysis: Currently, Kentucky medical spas are regulated the same as other medical offices or physician’s practices. There isn’t a separate set of regulations that apply only for medical spa facilities. The newly introduced House Bill 340 (HB 340), if passed, would create ownership and practice requirements for medical spas.   

  As introduced, HB 340 defines medical spas as establishments, in which the majority of patients receive “medical esthetic service.” Medical spas specially do not include practices owned by dermatologists or plastic surgeons or hospitals. However, medical spas must be wholly owned by a physician, nurse, or cosmetologist or aesthetician. Under this bill, all medical spas would need to obtain a facility license from the Kentucky State Board of Cosmetology. 

Medical aesthetic services are broadly defined to include any procedure that treats issues of the hair, skin, or tissue, and includes a list of procedures such as lasers, injectables, fat freezing, collagen or toxin injections, or other FDA-registered modalities. Under this bill, medical aesthetic services can only be provided by physicians, physician assistants, nurses, aestheticians or cosmetologists. Unlicensed persons may not perform any medical aesthetic services. Each licensing board is directed to adopt rules for their licensees to follow when performing medical aesthetic services.

HB 340 focuses most of its language on defining ownership and creating a licensing requirement under the Board of Cosmetology. This is somewhat unusual, as currently Kentucky does not prohibit non-physicians from owning medical practices, so HB 340 would represent restriction to the present status.  Additionally, the requirement for certain persons to be physically on site is unusual because HB 340 also restricts providing treatments to those persons. So, obviously, they would be “on site” whenever they are practicing. Facility licensing requirements can be helpful to exclude non-compliant businesses. However, it is very easy for the requirements and costs associated with the licensing to become onerous to compliant medical spas as well.   

If you would like additional information, to read the bill or to contact the sponsors, you can find the information that will allow you to do so through this link.