What Is a Good Faith Exam?

While you may think of Botox and dermal fillers like Restylane and Juvederm as fun, cosmetic (rather than medical) treatments that are given in a...

So, you’ve made the decision to have your first cosmetic injection treatment and you’re told that you need a Good Faith Exam. What is it and why do you need it? If your injector is an RN, a Good Faith Exam is performed by an advanced medical practitioner (like an NP, PA or MD) to ensure that you are healthy and a good candidate for these types of treatments.

While you may think of Botox and dermal fillers like Restylane and Juvederm as fun, cosmetic (rather than medical) treatments that are given in a spa-like setting, it’s important to keep in mind that these injections are FDA-approved drugs/devices.  In the state of California, they are treated like any other prescription drug, which requires an “order” from a licensed Physician, Physician Assistant or Nurse Practitioner before you receive them. This means that you need an evaluation that includes a medical history and an exam prior to getting your treatment.

If you’re wondering if you’ll have to have a Good Faith Exam prior to each injection treatment, you don’t. Once you’ve had it for a certain procedure, you can continue to receive that treatment from your RN injector going forward. Your exam only needs to happen once, prior to your first injection.

We know that this sounds like it can be inconvenient, and we understand that you may even see it as a waste of time. Honestly, we admit that it is really a formality, in most cases.  But here’s why a Good Faith Exam matters:

  1. A Good Faith Exam is the law in the state of California. Both the state medical and nursing boards have mandated that this is the “standard of care” for these injectable drugs and devices. These laws exist to ensure your safety and protection. Even though we think of these drugs as “fun”, there are some patients who shouldn’t receive injections due to underlying health conditions. A Good Faith exam makes sure that “all the ducks are in a row” prior to your treatment.
  2. A Good Faith Exam costs a practice more, that’s why many don’t do them. As we mentioned above, this exam must be done by an advanced practitioner who is on staff at the practice even if your injections are done by an RN. While you may think it’s not a big deal to skip it altogether, consider what else that practice might be willing to skip if they never evaluate you medically prior to treatment. If they don’t have the safety and protection of their patients up at the top of their priority list, do you really want to get your injections done there?
  3. If a facility doesn’t know what a Good Faith Exam is, what else don’t they know? Think about this one. It’s hard to say what is worse: knowing and ignoring the patient safety and protection laws or simply not knowing that they exist in the first place? Neither option sounds good to us.

Remember, each state has its own laws about the “standards of care” regarding injectable procedures like Botox and dermal fillers. In California, you only need a Good Faith Exam by an NP, PA, or MD once before your first treatment with an RN. After that, you can continue to see just the RN for your injections.

We hope this page has helped you better understand the importance and significance of these exams. At Celibre Medical, we strive to be the leader in our industry when it comes to results and patient experience, but also when it comes to patient safety and protection. We will continue to adhere to respect the laws that govern our practice because of that.


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