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:
The typical upper cervical practice in the survey…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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!