American Society of Plastic Surgeons
For Consumers

STATE | ASPS battles scope expansion by nonmedical professionals

Bills in Arizona and Florida, along with proposed regulations in Ohio, are seeking to allow various classifications of nonmedical professionals to use, or oversee the use of, lasers and light-based medical devices. ASPS' official position is that only licensed medical professionals should be allowed to perform procedures with lasers and light-based medical devices, and they must be done under the supervision of a physician.

ASPS and the Arizona Society of Plastic Surgeons opposed Arizona House Bill 2378, which would allow a laser safety officer to directly supervise the use of lasers, rather than require that lasers be operated solely under the supervision of health professionals.

In Florida, ASPS and the Florida Society of Plastic Surgeons expressed serious concerns over House Bill 965, which would have deleted the requirement that electrologists only use light-based medical devices under the direct supervision of a physician. The measure would also move the regulatory oversight of electrolysis from the Florida Board of Medicine to the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation. Companion legislation in the Florida State Senate (Senate Bill 744) would have only moved the regulation and oversight of electrolysis from the Board of Medicine to the Department of Business and Professional Regulation.

The State Medical Board of Ohio proposed regulations that would create education, training, and supervision requirements for various devices and procedures by midlevel healthcare practitioners, as well as cosmetic therapists, using light-based medical devices for hair removal. ASPS and the Ohio Valley Society of Plastic Surgeons wrote to the Board highlighting serious concerns over this proposal.

ASPS and the respective state and regional plastic surgery affiliates engaged on all four of these measures over the past several weeks. Through that engagement, both bills in Florida were amended to restore the status quo regarding direct physician supervision and retain regulatory oversight under the Florida Department of Health. As there has been no further movement in Arizona or Ohio, ASPS will continue to closely monitoring both situations in the event that future engagement is warranted.