Missouri Medical Advertising Bill Includes New Definition of “Surgery”

Posted By American Med Spa Association, Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Missouri’s Senate Bill 942 (SB 942) would create a more expansive and detailed definition of “surgery,” which may affect procedures commonly performed in medical spas. Click here to read SB 942. The bill is currently with the Senate Professional Registration Committee. The committee recently completed a hearing, and the bill awaits further consideration.
SB 942’s primary purpose is to create more strict advertising rules for licensed health professionals; it does this by strictly specifying what titles various professionals may use in advertisements and prohibits making a “fraudulent misrepresentation” as to the providers’ qualifications, expertise or skills. For example, a registered nurse could only use the title “registered nurse” or “RN,” and could not use a non-official title such as “certified nurse injector.” Additionally, the use of “board-certified” in advertisements must include the entire name of the certifying board.
SB 942 also provides a definition for “surgery” when used in the Medical Practice Act; this definition requires a manual or operative method and includes commonly seen terms such as incision, destruction or structural alteration of tissues. It goes on to list the potential purposes for such surgeries, which may include preserving health, diagnosing disease and correcting deformities. However, notably for medical spas, the definition also would include “for aesthetic, reconstructive or cosmetic purposes.” It is obvious that this definition would encompass procedures such as plastic surgeries and liposuction, though read broadly, it also may include common, much less invasive medical spa treatments such as cryolyposis, body contouring, skin resurfacing and placement of fillers or threads. This could restrict the professional licensees to whom the physician may delegate medical spa procedures. Currently, the delegated licensed professional must work within their scopes of practice, and few will have surgery as part of their scope. As is common with the law-making process, bills often go through several revisions before finally being voted on.
If you have questions or concerns on SB 942, you can reach out to your local legislators or the bill’s sponsor, Senator Jeanie Riddle. AmSpa will be monitoring this bill as it moves through the legislative process.