More survey results

Some clinics in the survey described in my blog, “Survey of CAN clinics” also included data about how many people pay at what level on the sliding fee scale.  The conventional wisdom outside of CAN seems to be, “Why would they pay more if they can pay $15?”  Below is the experience of 4 mid sized clinics in the Twin Cities area and one in Wisconsin.  These numbers reflect 3-12 months of figures for the clinics.

TC and WI dataJune 08

Percent of those paying at different $ levels by # chairs in the clinic

Payment per visit








7 chairs






11 chairs








8 chairs






5 chairs








All clinics are supporting the owners.Average amount of payment per visit is from $22 – $26.Weekly income from acu in these clinics ranges from $1200 to $1400.The 8-chair clinic reports $975 per week.

Fee scales:

7 and 11 chairs$15-35 + $10 extra for the first visit

8 chairs$15-40 + $10 extra for the first visit

5 chairs $15-45Initial visit $30

The 7 chair clinic with $15-35 sliding fee plus $10 extra for the first visit has these percentages of first payments:

$ first visit






Percent paying that fee






This clinic averages $22 per visit (new and return lumped together).Sees 50-60 per week with $1000 to $1200 per week average income.Suburban MPLS setting.2 years a CAP.Practitioner in this location 7 years.

Author: annmongeau

I've been a member of CAN since the beginning.  It just makes sense to me to offer acupuncture at affordable prices.  Then, because it's so much fun to do community acupuncture and it's so useful to people, I got active in spreading the word. 

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  1. Why pay more than $ 15?

    Excellent work Ann on these stats.  I’m sure that this took much longer than it appears.  Thank you for doing it.

    With regards to your statment about the sliding scale and why anyone would pay more than $ 15 if they didn’t have to I’ll share this experience.

    I had a new patient just the other day (2nd visit) standing at the reception desk after her treatment that said, “Why would anyone pay more than $ 15 if given the choice?”  I told her that this was on the honor system and that we wanted people to honestly pay what they could afford in order for them to come often enough to get better.  If someone wanted to pay less even if they could afford more that was their karma and I wasn’t going to worry about it.  I then asked her how much she had just paid (I wasn’t there when she paid) and with a little smile she said, “$20”.  I said, “See, it works just fine” and we both smiled. 

    Patients may think we’re being naive or even stupid that we’re allowing them to pick their price, but emotionally they completely get it and feel the love and honesty behind the sliding scale.  This has created our patient loyalty, and the increasing referrals that are allowing us to make a living.  If we care about them, they care about us.

    My clinic has 8 chairs and we’ve been averaging 70 tx a week since May after 1 year as a CAP.  The average tx price is $ 19-20 depending upon the month.  What hasn’t been mentioned, but is critical to the numbers is of those 70 tx how many patients are we seeing?  Most patients are coming at least 2x/week and therefore they are paying less.  I even have some that come 3x/wk. So when you’re looking at an average of $ 19-20 per treatment that’s not per patient.  Patients pay less because they are coming more often.  So don’t get hung up on the average treatment price as a reflection of what patients are paying, rather look at how many tx/week are being done at that average price.

    This clinic model succeeds where the American medical system has failed.  It gives the patient a sense of caring from the practitioner, and it puts them back in charge of their health.  Very powerful stuff for $ 19.

    Kerri Casey L.Ac.

    MN Community Acupuncture


  2. Thanks alot Ann for putting

    Thanks alot Ann for putting these numbers together.  It’s always encouraging to hear that CA clinics are doing well and supporting their acupuncturists.  Especially here in the Twin Cities as Colin and I slowly work twords opening our clinic. 

     Andrea Gustafson