Most people have never heard of Med Spas. Even if you have, do you realize Med Spas are largely unregulated and dangerous?
Med Spas generally offer a variety of cosmetic procedures such as facials and botox. Some also offer weight loss and hormone replacement services. A Louisville woman suffered serious injuries at such a place right here at home. Sandra McCaslin sought treatment at Abundant Living in Louisville where a medical doctor, Philip Roberts, took her off her regular medications and put her on a cocktail of pills and hormones, including heavy doses of Vitamin D. Five months after beginning treatment with Dr. Roberts Sandra suffered kidney failure from Vitamin D intoxication in her blood. Sandra could have died if she had not sought appropriate medical attention.
Med Spas are popping up all over, including here in Kentucky, but as often is the case with new products or services on the market, the law is playing catch up. Most states, including Kentucky, do not have specific laws or regulations for Med Spas. However, the same rules that apply to a doctor in another practice apply to a doctor at a Med Spa, as do licensing and regulations for cosmetologists, massage therapists, nurses, etc. Because there are no specific Med Spa regulations, owners, operators, and managers of Med Spas are not required to be doctors or medical professionals.
The Med Spa where Sandra was treated was initially owned by a layperson before Dr. Roberts became part owner. Even then, the Spa was not really in the business of providing medical care or safe treatments, but was in the business of making money. Most states require Med Spas to have a doctor on staff, but not on site. A study by the Journal of the American Medical Association between 2008 and 2011 shows procedures performed in Med Spas by non-physicians account for almost 80% of the lawsuits filed against Med Spas.
Four patients filed complaints against Dr. Roberts with the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure. The Board investigated the patients’ reports and found Dr. Roberts had no training in hormone replacement therapy, he over prescribed supplements to at least one patient causing him/her significant injury, and he caused injury to other patients from his lack of training in hormone therapy.
Dr. Roberts began in hormone therapy treatment when he began providing himself hormone therapy some years earlier. Dr. Roberts disclosed his lack of experience to the owner of Abundant Living when he was hired, although the owner of the center is not a medical doctor and appears to have no medical training.
In March 2015 the Board restricted Dr. Roberts Kentucky medical license indefinitely. Dr. Roberts is limited to practicing in the emergency room setting only and was required to take education programs related to keeping adequate medical records. The Board also fined Dr. Roberts $15,000 as well as required him to pay costs in excess of $17,000.
If you have been injured in a cosmetic or other medical procedure The Poppe Law Firm may be able to help. Give us a call at 502-895-3400 or visit our website www.PoppeLawFirm.com.