7th Annual Upper Cervical Practice Survey Results

2021 Upper Cervical Practice Survey

A big THANK YOU to all the upper cervical doctors who participated in our annual survey this year!

We have crunched the numbers from our 2021 Upper Cervical Practice Survey and we are excited to share the results with you!  We conduct this survey every year so we can learn current trends for the upper cervical practice and give you the ability to compare your practice to others. 

As always I like to look at the top-performing practices to determine success principles that will apply to your practice regardless of your current level of practice. Here are some observations from the 2021 upper cervical practice survey about the top 20% of upper cervical practices:

  1. Top practices use care plans. 95% of practices collecting $70,000 or more per month are using care plans.
  2. Top practices charge more. Their care plans are about 25% higher than the average and their individual office visits are about 16% higher than average.
  3. Top upper cervical practices focus on digital marketing (67%) in order to consistently attract new patients from external sources.

More Notes from the Top Practices in the 2021 Upper Cervical Practice Survey

  • Length of time in practice is not a major factor. 33% of the doctors in this category have been in practice for 10 years or less.
  • Upper cervical technique is not a major factor. Doctors who practice nearly every upper cervical technique represented in the 2021 Upper Cervical Practice Survey are in this category.
  • Top upper cervical practices focus on digital marketing (67%) in order to consistently attract new patients. We can help you develop a solid digital marketing strategy. Give us a call at 877-252-1230 to do an initial 10-minute phone call to see if we might be a good fit for your practice situation.
  • Top upper cervical practices focus on patient education (33%), ambassador/certificate/new patient promo program (24%) and internal events (19%) to promote internal referrals.
  • The top 20% of collecting practices see on average 33 new patients per month (same as last year).
  • They are seeing on average 327 patient visits per week.
  • 86% of top practices in the 2021 upper cervical practice survey collecting over $70,000 per month have at least one associate. It’s clear that if you want your practice to grow to the top 20% of upper cervical practices it’s important to develop an effective associate development program.
  • Doctors in the top 20% have anywhere from 2-10 staff members who are non-Associates.
  • Of the top 20% of practices in the 2021 upper cervical practice survey 100% collected more this year than last year.
  • 95% of the top practices in this year's survey use care plans. The average care plan was $2537 (25% higher than the average of the doctors in the 2021 Upper Cervical Practice Survey).
  • The average individual visit was $83 per visit in the top 20% of upper cervical practices in the survey (16% higher than the average of doctors in the 2021 Upper Cervical Practice Survey).
  • 29% of the top practices are 100% cash practices. Another 52% are more than 75% of their patients are cash patients. So, 81% of the top practices in the survey are predominately cash practices.

Here are some notes from the total survey data.

  • Generating new patients have been the most challenging part of upper cervical practice this year
  • Patient education continues to be the most effective form of internal marketing
  • For the sixth consecutive year, digital marketing has demonstrated to be the best investment in external marketing

The average upper cervical practice in the 2021 Upper Cervical Practice Survey…

  • Sees about 169 patient visits/week
  • Gains roughly 20 new patients/month
  • Collects around $44,000/month
  • Charges approximately $70 per visit
  • Has an average care plan cost of $1918
  • Operates a predominately cash practice (93%)
  • Has two employees and does not have an associate

Now, let’s dig into each question and see what this means for Upper Cervical Practices in 2021.

Question 1: How long have you been in practice?

2021 Upper Cervical Practice Survey

72% of the doctors that participated in the survey this year have been in practice for 20 years or less. We had a wide range of doctors participate in the 2021 Upper Cervical Practice Survey from those who have been in practice for less than five years (19%) to those who have been in practice for over 40 years (7%).

Question 2: Which upper cervical technique do you primarily practice?

2021 upper cervical practice survey

As has consistently been the case NUCCA doctors are the majority of those that have completed the survey this year. 35% of participants of the 2021 upper cervical practice survey utilize the NUCCA technique primarily. Followed by Blair doctors (17%), Orthospinology (14%), and Knee Chest (10%).

Question 3: What has been the most effective form of EXTERNAL marketing for your practice in 2021? (Not Referrals)

Upper cervical marketing survey

Digital marketing is once again the #1 way upper cervical doctors are attracting new patients into their practices from external sources. This includes chiropractic ads on Facebook, online reviews, search engine optimization, funnels, and other digital marketing strategies. 58% of upper cervical doctors indicated this was the best return on investment for external marketing in 2021. We are continuing to see each year that digital marketing is a key method upper cervical practices use to consistently get new patients. Are you utilizing this strategy effectively in your practice? Want some help? We are digital marketing experts. Give us a call at 877-252-1230 to do an initial 10-minute phone call to see if we might be a good fit for you.

Question 4: What has been the most effective form of INTERNAL marketing for your practice in 2021? (Not Results or Referrals)

Marketing results of 2020 upper cervical practice survey

Patient education was once again the #1 generator of new patients from internal sources in the 2021 upper cervical practice survey. 53% of upper cervical docs reported this as providing the top results in their practices. Every year of our survey, patient education has been the most effective strategy for generating new patients internally. Making sure that you have great upper cervical content that helps your patients “get it” is a huge asset in attracting new patients. Blogs, email newsletters, email blasts, eBooks, doctor videos, pamphlets, etc. are all great tools for you to implement if you haven’t already. 

Question 5: How many NEW PATIENTS does your practice see in a typical month?

2021 upper cervical practice survey

Overall, the average number of new patients upper cervical practices in our 2021 Upper Cervical Practice Survey are seeing is about 20/month. This is up slightly from 2020 (18 new patients per month). How does your office compare? What goals could you set for new patients in 2022? How will you achieve your new patient goals? Want some help? We are new patient acquisition experts. Give us a call at 877-252-1230 to do an initial 10-minute phone call to see if we might be a good fit for you.

Question 6: How many patient visits does your practice see in a typical week?

Seventh annual upper cervical practice survey

The average number of patient visits per week in the 2021 Upper Cervical Practice Survey is about 169. This is up from the previous two years (approximately 150 visits per week). Where would you like to see your practice next year when it comes to patient visits/week? What’s stopping you? What should you implement to get there? In order to increase your patient visits, you need more new patients. Want some help? We are new patient acquisition experts. Give us a call at 877-252-1230 to do an initial 10-minute phone call to see if we might be a good fit for you.

Question 7: How many ASSOCIATES do you have in your practice?

Associates does your upper cervical practice have

On average over the past 4 years, about 3 out of 4 upper cervical practices are solo practices (70% in 2021, 72% in 2020, 76% in 2019, and 68% in 2018). Understandably, we also see a correlation with the number of associates a practice has and the number of patient visits/week for the office. Having solid associates on your team strengthens the practice. Hiring an associate can be frustrating, click here or here to listen to two solid podcasts on this topic.

Question 8: How many EMPLOYEES do you have in your practice (non-associates)?

How many employees do you have in your practice?

About 3 out of 4 upper cervical practices have 1-3 employees. As was the case last year, 10% of practices in the 2021 upper cervical practice survey had no employees. We also see a correlation with being a solo practitioner and limited growth. Ultimately, doctors that have a good support team also have offices that are healthier, growing, and seeing more new patients. When trying to keep overhead low, it can be scary to build a team. Here is a great podcast to help you build a team to grow your practice.

Question 9: What have you found to be the most challenging part of your practice in 2021?

7th Annual Upper Cervical Practice Survey Results

Obtaining new patients was the greatest practice challenge of 2021 (20%). But on the encouraging side, the second most common answer to this question was “keeping up with growth” (19%). Retaining patients (13%) was also a common challenge reported in the 2021 Upper Cervical Practice Survey.

Question 10: Are your 2021 collections…?

7th Annual Upper Cervical Practice Survey Results

Last year was the first time in the 7 years that we’ve been doing this survey, that the majority of upper cervical practices did not grow. However, according to our 2021 Upper Cervical Practice Survey this has been a great bounce-back year for upper cervical practices! More than 79% reported that their collections were more than 2020. This is a nearly a 100% increase from the previous year. Only 5% of doctors in the survey reported having less collections this year than last.

What are you going to do in 2022 to make sure that you grow? Want some help? We are new patient acquisition experts. Give us a call at 877-252-1230 to do an initial 10 minute phone call to see if we might be a good fit for your practice situation.

Question 11: What have been your average monthly collections in 2021?

Average monthly collections

The average collections of the participants in the 2021 upper cervical practice survey was $44,000 per month. This is by far the highest average we have seen in the seven years we have been doing these surveys. That either means that upper cervical practices in general are making more revenue or the participants in this year's survey happened to be higher producing practices.

Question 12: How Much is Your Average Care Plan?

How much is your average care plan?

93% of the doctors that participated in this year's survey use care plans. The average care plan was up from last year to $1918. But 13% of doctors in the 2021 upper cervical practice survey have a care plan of less than $1000. Do your fees match your services? Consider your market, what can you confidently stand by, and take into consideration the value of your expert service.

Question 13: How much is your average individual visit?

7th Annual Upper Cervical Practice Survey Results

Average cost of an individual visit for upper cervical offices in 2021 was $70. 52% of doctors in the survey charge between $55-$85 per visit. Where do your fees fall? Have you found a rate that works for you to best reach the right people? The New Year might just be a great time to increase your fees consistent with the level of service that you are offering.

Question 14: What percentage of your practice is cash?

7th Annual Upper Cervical Practice Survey Results

41% of the upper cervical chiropractors in the 2021 upper cervical practice survey had 100% cash practices. And 84% had at least 75% of their practice they described as cash pay. Insurance practices are once again rare in the upper cervical world from our experience. In this survey, a majority insurance practice represented only 7% of practices.

Look for our 8th annual survey to start in October 2022!

This tool helped many UC docs crush it this year...it can help you too!

Master upper cervical practice resource
If after looking through the 2021 Upper Cervical Practice Survey, you want to take things to the next level and make a bigger impact in your community: helping more sick and suffering people and doing what you love. In Dr. Bill Davis’ book, “Upper Cervical Practice Mastery” you’ll learn about the rock-solid foundation the top UC doctors in the world have in common that drives their success, as well as the biggest mistakes to avoid when starting and building an Upper Cervical Practice. Upper Cervical Practice Mastery is a comprehensive UC practice success manual that helps you achieve prosperity and abundance in your life and practice even if you're starting from zero. Learn more and grab your copy by clicking hereEnjoy and may this year be your best year ever!
About the Author: Dr. Bill Davis
Dr. Bill Davis is the Founder and CEO of uppercervicalmarketing.com. His goal is to spread the word about the best-kept secret in health through Upper Cervical Specific Business and Marketing Solutions.
We understand the pain of losing valuable time and money… and what it can be like to hate your marketing. That’s why we specialize exclusively in upper cervical care and chiropractic online marketing.
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