IV therapy is a popular way to boost vitamins, electrolytes, and hydration. People often receive these treatments at hydration bars (also known as IV lounges), medical spas, and at home via concierge services that come to their houses.
A licensed healthcare professional must administer IV therapy. These include physicians, P.A.s, and N.P.s, but also some LVNs.
The on-demand IV therapy market is a relatively new concept that offers the benefits of medically administered fluids to consumers seeking relief from various ailments. This industry can appeal to retired medical professionals looking for a new income stream or entrepreneurs looking to capitalize on this trend. However, it is essential to understand the rules and regulations that govern this type of business to ensure compliance.
Many states have strict corporate practice of medicine (CPOM) doctrines prohibiting non-physicians from owning or controlling businesses offering medical services. The underlying purpose of this doctrine is to reduce the risk that a corporation’s profit motive might interfere with or influence medical treatment decisions. It also prevents businesses that are not owned by physicians from exerting control over the practices of other licensed medical professionals.
A healthcare attorney can help individuals who are considering starting an IV hydration business understand the requirements of their state’s CPOM statutes. A lawyer can also assist clients in drafting contracts that comply with this regulation and avoid regulatory pitfalls.
For example, in some states, the CPOM requires that a physician or physician hold most of the shares in a medical corporation rendering IV therapy. It also restricts the number of shareholders who may be non-physicians.
Good Faith Examination
In the med spa industry, many treatments — even though they are non-invasive and cosmetic — can have medical and surgical components. As such, the med spa must obtain a good faith exam from a licensed physician, physician assistant, or nurse practitioner to ensure the client is a suitable candidate for the treatment before it is administered.
Good faith exams go beyond superficial cosmetic consultations and delve into the medical aspects of patient evaluation, including potential contraindications and risk assessment. One of the IV therapy regulations in New Jersey provides that medical spas implementing thorough and consistent good faith exams can better safeguard their reputation, adhere to industry regulations, and provide safe, effective patient care.
Several changes in state law have occurred in recent years, including the creation of a full-time Medical Director to oversee the B.M.E.’s investigations and disciplinary actions; enhanced reporting by hospitals of malpractice and adverse privilege actions; mandatory reporting of practitioner impairment or incompetence that presents an imminent danger to public health; and confidentiality protections for reports made in good faith.
In light of these developments, employers should take careful consideration when asserting a good faith defense to wage and hour claims in W.H.L. proceedings or audits by the New Jersey Division of Labor and Workforce Development. Employers facing such claims should be prepared to carefully evaluate their options in changing how they conduct good faith exams and the scope of their training programs for non-physician providers.
IV Therapy for Health and Wellness
Businesses offering telehealth-based IV treatments can be found in spas and lounges, gyms, sports clubs, offices, other work locations, private homes, hotels, restaurants, and even parks and beaches. These services can also be offered as mobile therapies in specially equipped vehicles.
Many states restrict who can deliver IV therapy, including minimum provider qualifications and physician supervision requirements. These requirements typically require a two-way video system to allow patients and providers to see each other and speak directly during the telemedicine encounter. In addition, a medical board must be notified before a non-physician provider can administer an intravenous treatment or medication.
Many business, legal, and insurance considerations that apply to traditional medical practices also apply to IV therapy businesses. Generally, only licensed healthcare professionals (such as doctors of medicine, podiatrists, and certified nurse midwives) may administer IV therapy treatments. However, IV therapy can be offered in various settings, including hospitals, urgent care centers, medical spas, and IV bars (fixed or mobile locations).
IV therapy can also be provided at home. Depending on the nature of the treatment, the physician may recommend a specific delivery site, such as an ambulatory infusion center or a home infusion service that offers concierge IV therapy at the client’s location.
Supervision is an essential element of a high-quality IV service. Research has shown that adequate supervision improves practice quality, enables staff to develop positive working relationships, and increases job satisfaction and commitment. The effectiveness of supervision was assessed using independent ratings of audio-recorded supervision sessions. Analyses of these data indicated that MI supervisors exhibited superior adherence and competence compared to S.A.U. Supervisors. In addition, there was an improvement in supervision integrity across sites. This suggests that the use of MI in IV therapy positively impacts outcomes. It is also a cost-effective approach to patient care.