Setting Up an Out-of-State Wellness Business as a Licensed Practitioner

Below are areas to pay special attention to in order to protect yourself when deciding to provide wellness consultations or coaching out of your state of licensure. The following does not constitute legal advice nor does it replace nor override advice given to you by a licensed attorney. It reflects the analysis and opinion of me and me alone so take it with a grain of salt.

Business Entity: It’s best to set up a different business entity than the one you use for your licensed practice and one for Out of State (OOS) wellness consultations. For example, I registered my acupuncture practice as a PC/S-Corp and do wellness consultations as a sole prop. 

Separate Booking/Billing Software & Website: Rather than run everything through an EHR like Jane use your EHR for your practice and then a separate booking software like Setmore, Acuity, Appointlet, or Square Appointments for OOS consults. You can of course set up a “Wellness Consultations” section in your Jane but separating them adds an extra layer of protection. Here’s my website as an example. I use Google Drive for my session notes and it works just fine.

Language: Be extra careful not to use medical language in anything publishable. For example, rather than saying “prescriptions” you can say “recommendations”. This is super important in contracts as well (see below).

Herb Consultation Regulations: The practice of herbal consultations is not regulated yet in the US and therefore does not require a license to perform. However, it’s important to note that certain states include herbal medicine in their scope of practice for acupuncture, so the risk for being deemed “practicing medicine without a license” is higher in those states. A full breakdown of the risk of each state can be found here

Nutritional Advice Regulations: This also varies state to state but in the states that REALLY care (like Florida for example) you can get into a lot of trouble for practicing nutritional therapy without a license. Here’s a good map that shows which states are more stringent than others. One way around this is to have “general” protocols published on a public blog/shareable google folder and just “suggest” to a person that they read the public post. 

Contracts: Make sure that your contracts are different from your in-state practice contracts. General principles to follow are: 

  • Do not use medical language. 
  • Emphasize that this is lifestyle/wellness consulting. 
  • Include clauses that expressly state that this is not medical advice and to defer to a medical professional in their state for medical advice. 
  • Do not use the same consents that you use in acupuncture. Look up coaching consents instead since those are more applicable to the OOS wellness consults. 
  • Here’s a 

sample contract - I’ve changed some things around (including the name), taken out the pricing to give me more flexibility, and switched to using Jotform to sign contracts rather than send via PDF but it’s a good starting point.

 

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