New Bill Would Define Professional Responsibilities in Arkansas Medical Spas

Posted By American Med Spa Association, Monday, February 8, 2021

A new bill filed in Arkansas this year would define the responsibilities in the patient-physician relationship. The bill is known as House Bill 1266 (HB 1266), and its primary sponsor is Representative Michelle Gray. It has initially been assigned to the House’s Public Health, Welfare and Labor Committee for further deliberation.
HB 1266 would create certain duties towards patients when cosmetic aesthetic services are offered. It defines cosmetic aesthetic services to include:
In order to create the professional relationship to provide these services, two actions must take place. First, the patient must receive all necessary information to give informed consent, which is documented in their records. Second, the patient must be informed that the physician can personally consult, evaluate and provide treatment if they request. Physicians must be timely and able to see patients for this if they so request. In addition, the physician must ensure that the patient records are appropriately documented, continually review and monitor the quality of service provided by the medical spa employees, and monitor the patient in person at least annually.
HB 1266 is somewhat unusual for medical spa legislation. Most states require that medical treatments be ordered or prescribed by a licensed prescriber; this is usually referred to as the good-faith exam. Here, HB 1266 seems to imply that the physician will not be seeing the patient at all unless the patient specifically requests it. So, the physician would be held to a lower standard for creating the patient-physician relationship, but still held to the same professional duty and standard of care for the treatments actually provided. It is common for new legislation to go through several changes during the legislative process, so it is possible that some of the issues will be addressed in future versions. We will be monitoring HB 1266 as it works its way through Arkansas’s legislative process this year.