6th Annual Upper Cervical Practice Survey Results

2020 Upper Cervical Practice Survey

We have crunched the numbers from our 2020 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 see how your practice measures up. 

A big THANK YOU for those who participated in our 6th annual survey!

Before we unpack each survey question, here are some of the most important takeaways from the 2020 survey:

  • Covid 19 restrictions have been the most challenging part of upper cervical practice this year
  • But despite those restrictions 43% of upper cervical practices in the survey grew in 2020
  • Patient education continues to be the most significant form of internal marketing
  • 5 years straight, internet marketing has demonstrated to be the best investment in marketing

The typical upper cervical practice in the survey…

  • Sees about 150 patient visits/week
  • Gains roughly 18 new patients/month
  • Collects around $33,000/month
  • Charges approximately $65 per visit
  • Has an average care plan cost of $1673
  • Operates a predominately cash practice (85%)
  • Has two employees and does not have an associate
  • Been in practice for approximately 16 years

This would give the average practice in the survey an office visit average (OVA) of $51 and a patient visit average (PVA) of 35.

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?

2020 Upper Cervical Practice Survey

The largest group to participate in this year’s survey were doctors who been in practice for 16 to 20 years. 68% of those that participated in the survey have been in practice for 20 years or less. Only the strong survive in upper cervical practice and we see that evident in this year’s survey where only 4% of the upper cervical practices represented have been in practice for more than 40 years.

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

2020 upper cervical practice survey results

Once again the largest group to participate in this year's Upper Cervical Practice Survey were doctors who primarily practice NUCCA (36.97%). 85% of the practices represented in this year’s survey practice an orthogonally based upper cervical technique (15% articular based). An interesting observation from this year’s survey showed that orthogonally based practices used less care plans than articular practices. 22% of the orthogonal practices in the survey do not use care plans while only 8% of the articular practices.

Question 3: What has been the most effective form of EXTERNAL marketing for your practice in 2020? (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. 49.58% of doctors indicated this was the best return on investment for external marketing in 2020. We saw the same in 2019 (37.01%), 2018 (35.67%), 2017 (37.73%) and 2016 (36.11%). 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 2020? (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 2020. 51.26% of UC 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 UC 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?

New patients upper cervical practice survey

Overall, the average number of new patients upper cervical practices in our 2020 upper cervical practice survey are seeing is about 18/month (the same as 2019). This has been roughly the case for the past few years. How does your office compare? What goals could you set for new patients in 2021? 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?

Patient visits in this 2020 upper cervical practice survey

The average number of patient visits per week in 2020 is just under 150. This is the same as 2019. Where would you like to see your practice next year when it comes to patients 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 three years, more than 3 out of 4 upper cervical practices are solo practices (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)?

Employees in an upper cervical practice

Just about 2 out of 3 upper cervical doctors have 2 or more employees. Interestingly, 1 out of 10 doctors (10.92%) has no one helping them out in the office. 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 2020?

Biggest challenges in 2020 upper cervical practice

No surprise that Covid 19 restrictions have been the most challenging part of practice in 2020 (44%). But on the encouraging side the second most common answer to this question was “keeping up with growth” (18%). Despite the restrictions many doctors are still thriving!

Question 10: Are your 2020 collections…?

Growing upper cervical practice

Unfortunately, for the first time in the six years that we’ve been doing this survey, the majority of upper cervical practices did not grow in 2020. But 43% of them did grow this year. 26% are down from 2019 and the rest are about the same. How is your practice doing? What are you going to do in 2021 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 2020?

6th Annual Upper Cervical Practice Survey Results
Upper cervical practice collections

For the last three years, the dividing line between the top 20% of upper cervical practices in the industry and the bottom 80% occurs at around $50,000 in collections/month mark.

Here are some observations from the 2020 upper cervical practice survey about the top 20% of upper cervical practices:

  • Length of time in practice is not a major factor. 23% 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 every upper cervical technique represented in the survey are in this category.
  • Top upper cervical practices focus on digital marketing (58%) and professional referrals (27%) in order to consistently attract new patients. 20% of the doctors with top practices indicate that they do no external marketing. But the doctors who answered this way have been in practice for an average of 35 years. These are clearly doctors that have a huge patient base and their referrals are able to sustain their success without external marketing. If you have been in practice for less than 35 years and you are not at the level you would like to be, the marketing lifecycle indicates that you must be doing external marketing in order to grow. 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 (38%) and internal events (38%) to promote referrals.
  • The top 20% of collecting practices see on average 33 new patients per month.
  • They are seeing on average 290 patient visits per week.
  • 73% of doctors collecting over $50,000 per month have at least one associate. Of the doctors who are in solo practice about 60% of them are seeing 200 patient visits per week or less. Only one doctor in the survey was able to see over 300 patient visits per week by themselves. 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 an average of three staff members who are non-Associates.
  • Only 11% of the doctors in this category collected less in 2020, compared to 2019.
  • Only 7% of doctors in this category do not use care plans (these doctors have been in practice for 30 years or more). Of the 93% of doctors that do use care plans the average care plan was $2189 (24% higher than the average of the doctors in the survey).
  • The average individual visit was $75 per visit in the top 20% of upper cervical practices in the survey (14% higher than the average of doctors in the survey).
  • 42% of the top practices are 100% cash practices. Another 50% are more than 75% of their patients are cash patients. So, 92% of the top practices in the survey are predominately cash practices.

So here’s the summary of the top 20% of the upper cervical practices in our 2020 survey: they are a team of at least five (3 staff members and 2 doctors), they are utilizing care plans in their patient management and are charging approximately $75 per visit. They are cash practices that focus on digital marketing, professional referrals, patient education, and internal events to consistently attract 33 new patients per month and see 290 patient visits per week. If you want to learn more about what the top upper cervical practices are doing differently follow the link.

Question 12: How Much is Your Average Care Plan?

Average care plan

In 2020, the average care plan was $1673 this is up 11% from the 2019 average. 18% of the doctors in the 2020 upper cervical practice survey do not use care plans. While another 14% have a care plan less than $1000. Do your fees match your services? Consider your market, what you can confidently stand by, and take in consideration the value of your expert service.

Question 13: How much is your average individual visit?

How much is your average individual visit?

Average cost of an individual visit for UC offices in 2020 was $65. 78% of doctors in the survey charge between $45-$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 good time to increase your fees.

Question 14: What percentage of your practice is cash?

Upper cervical practices are cash practices

40% of the upper cervical chiropractors in the survey have 100% cash practices. 4 out of 5 doctors reported at least 75% of their practice is cash pay. Insurance practices are rare in this upper cervical survey. Only 5% of the upper cervical practices in the survey have less than 50% of their patients paying cash for services.

Look for our 7th annual survey to start in October 2021!

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 2020 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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