Los Angeles-based medical company HealthWest has been ordered by the California Department of Corporations to stop offering "medspa" franchises and licenses. Department officials content that HealthWest's promise to provide medical spa services without a physician onsite is in violation of the Medical Practice Act.

According to the web site, "HealthWest, Inc has 13 opened Inaara Spa franchises and/or affiliated locations with 33 additional locations in various stages of development across the United States." Six "medspa" franchises were sold to in California without approval by the Department of Corporations as required by California law. The non-physician franchisees were illegally providing medical services without an onsite physician. The services offered by the medspas, including laser hair removal, intense pulse light treatments, botox treatments and microdermabrasion, constitute medical services under California law.

Medical Spa franchises continue to grow in other parts of the country. Northeast-based Sleek MedSpas is claiming double-digit growth of their franchises. Former pharmacist Philip Voluck, president of franchising for Sleek MedSpa, boasts of plans to add two franchise locations a month in the next 12 months. Sleek's medical spa services includes skin rejuvenation, photo facials, chemical peels, microdermabrasion, Botox and other cosmetic fillers, spider vein treatment and laser hair removal treatment.