New Arizona Bill Would Expand Supervisors for Laser Technicians

Posted By American Med Spa Association, Thursday, January 31, 2019

A new bill introduced in Arizona would create a new certification that is able to supervise laser technicians. The bill is sponsored by State Senator David Gowan and awaits further consideration in the Senate. You can review the text of Senate Bill 1287 (SB 1287) in full   here
SB 1287 makes only a few changes to the current laser technician statute. Currently, cosmetologists and aestheticians who complete a course of training and education can become certified in the cosmetic use of lasers and intense pulsed light (IPL) devices. These certified laser technicians are able to perform laser hair removal and other laser and IPL procedures under the supervision of a licensed healthcare professional. The health care professional can be a physician, physician assistant, nurse, or maxillofacial surgeon. Presently, the healthcare professional can provide off-site supervision when the technician is performing laser hair removal but must provide on-site supervision for other procedures. SB 1287 would add a new person able to provide supervision to laser technicians: the laser safety officer.  A laser safety officer is only able to provide on-site supervision of procedures, only the health professionals are permitted to supervise laser hair removal off-site. SB 1287 doesn’t include the specific requirements to be a laser safety officer and instead leaves it up to the Department of Health Services to adopt administrative rules for that purpose. 
Of note, SB 1287 as it is currently written, would not allow laser safety officers to supervise laser hair removal at all. They would only be able to supervise non-hair removal laser and IPL procedures. This may be an oversight in the current draft of the bill. It remains to be seen if SB 1287 gets amended to fix this as it progresses through the legislative process. On a national level, the trend has been to expand who may perform these relatively low risk cosmetic laser and light based procedures and in some cases remove the need for medical licensee to be directly involved. In that respect, SB 1287 continues that trend.
We will be monitoring SB 1287 as it works its way through Arizona’s legislative process this year. If you would like to contact SB 1287’s sponsor he can be reached via his page on the Arizona Legislature’s  website.