RHODE ISLAND Bill Seeks to Regulate and License Medical Spas

Posted By American Med Spa Association, Friday, January 21, 2022

Bill Name: House Bill 6610 (HB 6610) 

Primary Sponsor: Representative Jacquelyn M. Baginski

Status: 06/10/2022 Referred to Senate Health and Human Services

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 licensing rules to the department of health, 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 has a high likelihood of passing. However, a similar medical spa bill from the same sponsor ultimately failed to pass in 2021, though made it far in the process.


Update 6/1/2022:
After a long period of inactivity, HB 6610 has been scheduled for consideration today. In conjunction with the consideration, some substitute language has been proposed for the bill, referred to as “A/2”. The proposed A/2 language keeps most of the same provisions as the original HB 6610 discussed below. The major changes are: 

Original Text:
  Currently, Rhode Island 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 6610 (HB 6610), if passed, would create training, licensing and supervision requirements for medical spas.
As introduced, HB 6610 defines medical spas as establishments that perform “cosmetic medical procedures,” which are broadly defined to include any procedure directed at improving appearance that does not require sedation. Under this bill, cosmetic medical procedures can only be provided by qualified licensed or certified persons under the onsite supervision of a physician or advanced practice registered nurse (APRN); note that any ablative laser or energy procedures may only be performed by a physician. Every medical spa would have a medical director who is a physician that is:
  HB 6610 requires that medical directors receive training in the various cosmetic medical procedures the medical spa performs. While it does not explicitly list how long or how much training is needed, it does say that manufacturer or vendor provided is insufficient if it is the only source of training.  

  A supervising physician or APRN must:

  Somewhat confusingly, the bill includes a definition of supervision that has both direct onsite and indirect offsite elements, even though onsite appears to be the only accepted method.

  Similarly, when non-physicians or non-APRNs perform cosmetic medical procedures, they must at all times:

  The biggest potential change required under HB 6610 is the adoption of rules by the Department of Health (DoH). The bill gives the DoH until July 1, 2023, to adopt regulations to implement this law and to provide for the licensing of medical spas as “health care facilities.”  

  While mandating onsite supervision in all cases is more restrictive than most other states, it is the parts left unanswered that will determine how burdensome this bill is on medical spas. The biggest unknown is how complex and costly licensing would be. Few states impose facility licensing requirements on medical spas, but often health care facilities can be expensive and time-consuming to get licensed. If this bill advances in the legislature, it would be good if these areas are better addressed or simplified, as in other states. We will be monitoring this bill as it works its way through the legislature. If you would like additional information, to read the bill or to contact the sponsors, you can find the information you need through this link.