Split Decision

Posted By American Med Spa Association, Monday, March 9, 2015

American Spa magazine recently ran this article by Alex R. Thiersch, founder and director of AmSpa and an attorney specializing in medical aesthetics. To find out more about AmSpa, log on to www.americanmedspa.org.  
It is not unusual to interact with people  who work on commission, as many in the industry earn commissions on sales. Given the prevalence of the practice, you might assume that it is fine for a medical spa to give commissions to, say, a laser technician or nurse who goes above and beyond to drum up business for the establishment. But you would be wrong, and it is important to understand why.

Fee splitting
The practice of medicine is governed by an entirely different set of laws than other industries. In most states, a patient who receives a medical service—such as most of the services provided at medical spas—is required to provide payment to a physician or a corporation that is owned solely by a physician. Payment for medical services cannot be paid to non-physicians (this is known as the “corporate practice of medicine”). Furthermore, a physician is prohibited from splitting any part of medical revenue with a non-physician. This is known as “fee splitting” and, in most states, it is illegal. (Please check with your local healthcare attorney to determine whether your state is one of the few that allows fee splitting).
Read more in American Spa.