Update: Arkansas Medical Board Introduces New Medical Spa Rule

Posted By American Med Spa Association, Thursday, July 9, 2020

Earlier this year, we wrote about new rules put forward by the Arkansas State Board of Nursing and State Medical Board for medical spas (see here). At the time, only the nursing board’s proposal was formally published in the Arkansas Register, and the medical board’s was only an informal proposal. Now, the medical board’s proposal, referred to as “Rule 46,” has been published for public comment; you can read the rule here.
This version of the rule is largely similar to the version we covered in March. The main provisions of the medical board’s Rule 46 are that physicians must be appropriately trained and experienced. This requirement may be met with board certification in cosmetic, plastic, facial plastic, dermatology or oculoplastics. However, it appears that the training and experience may be acquired through other means as well—the rule provides a list of 11 aspects that the physician must be able to show documented training and experience in.
Under the rule, the physician must personally perform the patient examination and diagnosis before delegating it to an employee. The physician may only delegate procedures to physician assistants (PAs), advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) or registered nurses (RNs) who are properly trained in the procedures. Physicians are specifically prohibited from delegating these procedures to licensed practical nurses (LPNs) or aestheticians. When delegating the procedures, the physician must be available to respond to the patient, should there be any complications. The rule does not explicitly require onsite supervision, though depending on how the board interprets this section, it may be needed. The persons to whom the physician delegates must be contracted to or employees in compliance with the Medical Corporations Act.
In order to collaborate with an APRN, the physician must meet the training and experience requirements mentioned above, and the APRN must be certified by the International Society of Aesthetic Nurses, meet the requirements for board certification or complete core specialty training in aesthetic medicine as required by the board of nursing.
Failure to comply with Rule 46 would be treated as gross negligence and subject physicians to discipline by the medical board. The board is authorized to revoke or suspend a physician’s license if it finds that they have committed gross negligence or unprofessional conduct.
The medical board’s Rule 46 is open for comment now, with a public hearing being held on July 23 at 8:30 a.m. in the ASMB room (suite 340) at 1401 W. Capitol in Little Rock. Due to COVID-19, those wishing to attend the hearing in person will need to comply with extra precautions; to compensate, the board is providing a teleconferencing alternative—comments may be made to PublicHearingComments@armedicalboard.org. Comments can be made up to the July 23 date of the hearing, though in order to have your comments to the board members at the hearing, they must be received by noon on July 17. AmSpa is closely monitoring this rule and will be virtually attending the meeting as well as submitting comments.