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States lax in regulating cosmetic surgery

(USA Today) As cosmetic surgery surges in popularity and insurance payouts to doctors decline, the temptation for physicians to branch into new, potentially risky procedures has never been greater, regulators, doctors and plaintiff lawyers say. Insurance companies and hospitals typically prohibit doctors from practicing outside of their specialties, but office surgery facilities are unregulated in more than half of states. As interest in cosmetic procedures spreads outside of urban areas and coastal states, there are sweeping differences in state laws governing what kinds of surgeries doctors can perform and where.
"There are so many areas of medicine that are considered to be lucrative, that it's attracted physicians to do those procedures who really aren't trained to do them," says Jim Leventhal, a Denver plaintiff attorney who chairs the American Association for Justice's professional negligence section. "Laws need to be passed which regulate outpatient procedures requiring appropriate training to perform the procedure and appropriate training and equipment to respond immediately should a patient need emergency care."
Community: Even non-doctors are cashing in. It pays to be careful.
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