Presenting the Results of the 2014 POCA Annual Survey of CA Clinics

The 192 clinics who answered reported a combined 910,877 treatments last year (average of 4,744 treatments per clinic), up from last year where 178 clinics reported 750,513 treatments (average of 4,216 treatments per clinic).

Inside in the forums, we have the raw data of the survey plus we'll be posting several threads analyzing the results. You got to be a POCA member to see those threads. Yet another reason to join! Here though we'll explain the fine print: what % of clinics responded, any quirks to the answers, etc. Let's get to them.

The Fine Print

1) First of all, this is a survey of all the Community Acupuncture clinics in the US and Canada (that we know about), not just clinics that are listed here on the LOC of POCA (click on the Clinics tab above to see those). So how many of those CA clinics are there, both members and non-members? Hard to say exactly but I put the number at 239. Probably there are a few more than 239 CA clinics but any extra ones are sure hard to find. Why do we ask clinics that are not part of POCA? Because since membership renewal is not (yet) automatic, there is a very permeable barrier between POCA and non-POCA clinics.  For instance, as I was compiling the survey results, I noticed that the original Manchester Acupuncture Studio had fallen off the POCA Locate a Clinic page because they hadn't renewed their membership. (See, it happens to everybody!) Because the survey takes place over several months, on any given day the tally of who is on LOC and who isn't can look different. I have a list of CA clinics that I track; to the best of my knowledge at the time I send it out, they all qualify for POCA, but I don't cross check their renewal status because at this point it would be too cumbersome.

2) 192 clinics responded out of those 239. That's a 80.33% rate. Not to make too much of a point at it, that's a borderline fantastic response rate in any field of a similar type of survey and just blows away any other Acupuncture profession surveys. Note also that since this survey about what the clinics did in 2013, the at least 15 CA clinics that started in 2014 should be taken out leaving a response rate of 85.71%.

3) Looking further, and again taking out the 15 clinics that started in 2014 (so far) 12 clinics currently POCA members and listed in the LOC did not fill out the survey.

4) Of the non-LOC clinics-all of whom would meet LOC guidelines if they were POCA members-48 filled out the survey, leaving possibly 35 that did not. It makes sense that fewer non-POCA clinics would fill it out, right? Yep.

5) 8 clinics that would not qualify for the LOC filled out the survey. We thank them very much but their data is not included here and isn't in the attachment.

6) BIG MISTAKE! Okay I screwed up a bit. I inadvertently deleted the record of two clinics while compiling the data. I did save their treatment numbers and those numbers are included in the total treatment number above but I lost their other data. Booo Skip! For the record, the two clinics saw 232 and 1100 treatments last year (they are new clinics).

7) 17 clinics could have but did not fill out the survey last year.

8) 34 other clinics also did not fill out last year's survey but that's because they started up sometime in 2013. Including those clinics naturally brings the average number of treatments down since they were both just starting up and were only open part of the year. How much did this affect the survey? You can figure it out from the raw data or you can be a member and watch for a forum post that I talk specifically about the relative size of CA clinics by how old they are.

9) Last and certainly not least, I have to thank Ashley O'Brien, owner of Acupuncture Together of Austin, for her help in compiling and analyzing the data. She's done huge work in getting this survey together. Think of her in the back room, visor on her head, wearing one of those armbands that old time accountants used to wear, cranking out the numbers on a mechanical adding machine. Or picture her as she is: basically fantastic, insightful, and enthusiastic. Thank you so so much Ashley.

See you on the inside where we can discuss what we've done!

Skip Van Meter
Author: Skip Van Meter

Skip is Lead Acupuncturist and Co-Founder of <a href="" target="_blank">Working Class Acupuncture</a> in Portland, Oregon. With the earlier part of his life spent acquiring knowledge about geology, urban planning and teaching high school, he has now been an acupuncturist for 19 years, using about a 1,750,000 needles poking his patients. He likes all things soccer, has three fabulous sons, the best wife in the world, and a great dog and two cool cats.

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  1. This incredibly powerful work that will pay off in the future! Thank you Skip and Ashley!
    BTW-I have started to use the numbers when giving presentations for future business.