American Society of Plastic Surgeons
For Consumers

Virginia: Mandate Supervision of Lasers

ASPS and the Virginia Society of Plastic Surgeons (VASPS) submitted comments to the Virginia Board of Medicine on a proposed rule regarding the delegation of laser hair removal. ASPS and VASPS were encouraged to see the inclusion of provisions from legislation signed into law in 2017, which restricts the practice of laser hair removal to physicians, physician assistants (PAs), nurse practitioner (NPs), and properly trained individuals under the direction and supervision of medical professionals. While ASPS and VASPS believe that only licensed physician extenders should perform these procedures under a physician's supervision, the societies recognize that outlining training requirements for other individuals performing laser procedures is an incremental step forward that could improve patient safety in the state.

Under existing law, there is great ambiguity over the supervision requirements for persons performing laser procedures, which has caused compliance issues in the state. Unfortunately, the proposed regulation fails to provide further clarification on supervision terms to address this ongoing issue, which is why ASPS and VASPS provided supervision recommendations to the Board. ASPS and VASPS urged the Board to require the following supervision standards for PAs, NPs and properly trained persons: the supervising physician should be trained to perform the delegated procedures; be immediately accessible by electronic communication, be no further than 50 miles from the facility, and must be able to see the patient within 24 hours. These supervision requirements are imperative to ensure that Virginians are protected from medispas that have physician supervisors in name only.