A registered nurse is facing felony charges in connection with Botox injections she gave clients at a spa she co-owns in Camarillo, officials said.
Tamara Foley, 44, of Camarillo is charged with felony unlawful practice of medicine, authorities said. She was arrested May 9 at the Posh Hair & Skin Studio in Camarillo, which she co-owns with Ventura obstetrician/gynecologist Dr. Terry Cole. Foley is scheduled to appear Wednesday in Ventura County Superior Court.
Cole’s office manager said the doctor declined to comment.
Moss said Posh Hair & Skin Studio, whose services include hairstyling, manicures, pedicures, waxing, facials and Botox injections, is a professional medical corporation as defined by state law.
An increasing number of “medi-spas” are springing up across the nation under the supervision of physicians who may or may not be plastic surgeons or dermatologists, offering cosmetic procedures such as Botox, fillers and laser resurfacing. The physician performs or supervises the procedures or is on the premises.
“The medical board has taken the position that it (doctor supervision) is required, and we’re not convinced it is required and we are searching for an expert of our own to render a contrary opinion,” Moss said. “Were not talking about whether it’s authorized, but whether it constitutes an unlicensed practice of medicine if an RN is doing it under the direction of a medical doctor in good faith.”
Asked what constitutes “supervision from a physician,” state Department of Consumer Affairs spokesman Russ Heimerich said, “That’s the $21 million question.” The nursing and medical boards fall under the Department of Consumer Affairs umbrella.
“What it’s been taken to mean so far is that if a physician has standing orders or has confidence in the nurse and has done the medical exam to do the procedure, the physician doesn’t have to be present,” Heimerich said.
But the physician needs to have examined the patient first and prescribe the procedure, Heimerich said.
In April 2009, the medical board warned doctors it was illegal to become partners in a medi-spa unless the doctor took responsibility for patients. The board then hired five investigators whose duties included responding to complaints involving medical spas.
One such investigator went undercover at Posh following an anonymous complaint, authorities said. According to the district attorney’s office, Foley agreed to give Botox to the investigator without getting proper supervision and was arrested in the salon on May 9.
She is currently out on $10,000 bail, which she posted May 9.