How are the Top 5% of Upper Cervical Chiropractic Practices Different?

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Are the Top Upper Cervical Chiropractic Practices Different?

For the past five years, we have been conducting our Annual Upper Cervical Practice Survey. In fact, we are currently conducting the 2019 Upper Cervical Practice Survey. Feel free to click the link if you haven’t already completed it. But with all this survey data we have learned a lot about upper cervical practices. I wrote a book called Upper Cervical Practice Mastery with a combination of the information from the surveys, the information I have learned from interviewing the top upper cervical doctors in the world on the podcast, and also working with hundreds of upper cervical practices over the past seven years.

7 Categories of Upper Cervical Practices

We have found that there are 7 categories of Upper Cervical Practices. They are listed below with the approximate percentage of upper cervical practices in the different categories:
  1. Million-Dollar Practices $83,333 per month or more (2%)
  2. Ultra-High-Performing $60,000 per month or More (3%)
  3. High-Performing $40,000-$60,000 (15%)
  4. Above Average Performing $30,000-$40,000 (20%)
  5. Average Performing $20,000-$30,000 (30%)
  6. Below Average Performing $10,000-$20,000 (20%)
  7. Low Performing Less than $10,000 (10%)
Today I’m going to attempt to give you a profile of Top Upper Cervical Chiropractic Practices based on the past five years of survey data and my own personal experience. This is the top 5% of our profession. These are the million-dollar practices (average collections of $83,000 per month or more) and ultra-high-performing practices (average collections of $60,000 per month or more).
The point of this article is not to say that every practice should be a million-dollar practice or an ultra-high-performing practice. The point is to give you an idea of what it takes to be a top practice.
There are many great upper cervical practices that may not be top practices according to this particular categorization but that doesn’t mean that these are not awesome practices that are helping lots and lots of people in their communities. But by looking at these highly successful practices and asking the question of “what do the top upper cervical practices do differently” we can begin to identify key characteristics and also dissuade some myths. Also, keep in mind that there are limitations to our approach when it comes to our surveys. We are not able to survey every upper cervical practice on the planet. So while this represents a large group of upper cervical practices it is not all-encompassing. Lastly, if you are looking for some inspiration and nuts and bolts of these top practices I have added some pictures of some of our podcast episodes with top practices throughout the blog post. Just click on the images to listen. So let’s get started.

Ultra-High-Performing and Million-Dollar Practices

Here are some basic characteristics of top practices:

Dr. Rachae Bell on the upper cervical marketing podcastHow Long Have They Been in Practice?

0 to 5 = 16% 6 to 10 = 24% 11 to 15 = 21% 16 to 20 = 15% 21 to 25 = 6% 26 to 30 = 6% 31 to 35 = 6% 36 to 40 = 2% 40 or more = 4% Based on our surveys, over 75% of practices in the ultra-high-performing or million-dollar category have been practicing for 20 years or less. It is not necessary to be in practice for 30 or 40 years in order to get to this level. In fact, 16% of the practices in this category were able to get there in five years or less.

Dr. Larry Arbeitman on the Upper Cervical Marketing PodcastWhich Upper Cervical Technique Do They Primarily Practice?

Advanced Orthogonal = 4% Atlas Orthogonal = 8% Blair = 15% Epic = 2% Grostic = 1% Knee-Chest = 16% MC2 = 1% NUCCA = 34% Orthospinology = 8% QSM3 = 4% Toggle = 7% Based on our surveys, over 34% of top practices utilize the NUCCA technique. NUCCA is the technique that consistently has the most participants in our surveys for all practice categories. This may be because NUCCA is the largest upper cervical technique (unknown for sure). The fact that I once practiced NUCCA and I am personally still connected with a large group of NUCCA doctors could also be a factor in why so many of them take our survey every year. But regardless we can see from the survey results that the type of upper cervical technique you utilize does not determine whether or not you will become a top upper cervical practice.

dr kyrie kleinfelter top upper cervical chiropractic practicesWhat Type of External Marketing Is Most Effective for Them?

Spinal screenings = 20% Internet Marketing = 25% Lunch and Learns/Community Talks = 15% Professional Referrals = 25% Networking Groups = 10% Newspaper/Print/Radio Ads = 5% 50% of top practices utilize Internet marketing and professional referrals as their best external marketing approaches to generate new patients. If you do not have an Internet marketing and professional referral strategy in place this may be what’s missing in order to help you get to the next level.

Dr. Nick Tedder on the Upper Cervical Marketing PodcastWhat Type of Internal Marketing Is Most Effective for These Practices?

Healthcare Classes/Patient Orientation = 20% Internal Events (Holiday Events, Food Drives, Toy Drives Backpack Drives, Etc.) = 14% Community Awareness Events (Upper Cervical Awareness, Dinner with the Doc) = 10% Ambassador/Certificate Program = 5% Patient Education = 50% Newsletters = 1% Patient education is the most effective internal marketing for top upper cervical practices. This is also the case for all upper cervical practices.

Dr. drew Hall top upper cervical chiropractic practicesHow Many New Patients Does a Top Practice See Each Month?

0 to 5 = 1% 6 to 10 = 2% 11 to 15 = 4% 16 to 20 = 6% 21 to 25 = 8% 26 to 30 = 10% 31 to 35 = 14% 36 to 40 = 14% 41 to 45 = 10% 46 to 50 = 11% 50 or more = 20% No surprise that top practices generally do not have a new patient problem. With about 80% of them seeing over 25 new patients per month. And 20% of them seeing over 50 new patients per month.

Dr. christina meakim on the upper cervical marketing podcast How Many Patient Visits Does a Top Practice See Every Week?

150 to 200 = 12% 201 to 250 = 19% 251 to 300 = 22% 301 to 350 = 12% 351 to 400 = 10% 401 to 450 = 10% 451 to 500 = 10% Over 500 = 5% The average top upper cervical practice is seeing about 250 patient visits per week. Not all ultra-high-performing and million-dollar practices are high-volume. There are offices that are seeing 150 patient visits per week and are collecting over $60,000 per month. They have an office visit average of $93.

Dr. Jeff Scholten upper cervical marketing podcast How Many Associates Do Ultra- High-Performing Practices Have?

Do Not Have Associates = 15% I Have One Associate = 40% Two Associates = 30% Three Associates = 10% Four Associates = 5% A majority of top practices have one or two Associates (70%). About 15% of these offices do not have any Associates. If this is the case generally they would have large support staff in order to see the number of patients that they are seeing or have a very high office visit average.

Million dollar upper cervical practice How Many Support Staff Do Top Upper Cervical Chiropractic Practices Have?

1 Employee = 3% 2 Employees = 10% 3 Employees = 22% 4 Employees = 25% 5 Employees = 22% 6 Employees = 10% More Than 7 Employees = 8% Top upper cervical chiropractic practices on average have about four team members that are non-Associates. Approximately 70% have between three and five employees.

Dr. Justin Brown What is the average care plan of a top practice?

Less than $1000 = 6% $1000 to $1299 = 6% $1300 to $1599 = 38% $1600-$1899 = 13% $1900-$2199 = 0 $2200-$2499 = 0 $2500-$2799 = 19% $2800-$3099 = 0 $3100-$3399 = 0 $3400-$3699 = 6% $3700-$3999 =0 $4000-$4299 = 0 $4300-$4599 = 0 $4600-$4899 =0 $4900-$5199 =0 $5200-$5499 = 6% $5500 and higher =0 I Do Not Use Care Plans = 6% Contrary to popular opinion ultra-high-performing and million-dollar practices do not necessarily have high priced care plans. 38% of top-performing practices have average care plans of approximately $1500 and 70% have an average care plan of $1300-$2800. Only 6% of top practices have average care plans over $4000.

Dr. Patricia Gregg What Is the Average Individual Visit of a Top-Performing Practice?

$55-$64 = 31% $65-$74 = 25% $75-$84 = 13% $85-$94 = 25% $95 or More = 6% Also contrary to popular opinion top practices do not necessarily have higher than average individual visit prices. The most common answer for top-performing practices was approximately $60 per visit. Approximately 70% of top practices have an average individual visit between $55 and $84.

How are the Top 5% of Upper Cervical Chiropractic Practices Different?What percentage of top practices are cash practices?

100% cash practice = 56% 75 to 99% cash practice = 25% 50 to 74% cash practice = 19% Over half of the top-performing upper cervical chiropractic practices are 100% cash practices (56%).
To summarize, top upper cervical practices have these characteristics typically in common:
  • Been in practice for less than 20 years
  • They utilize a variety of different upper cervical chiropractic techniques
  • They are cash practices
  • Their average visit is around $60
  • Utilize care plans and their average care plan is around $1500
  • They have associates
  • Have adequate staff to provide high-quality care to the patient volume they have
  • They do not have a new patient problem because they utilize both internal and external marketing approaches and do not just rely on results and referrals.
  • Utilize Internet marketing and professional referrals to generate new patients
  • They have a commitment to patient education
  • Have a commitment to building systems
  • They have a commitment to training
  • They have a commitment to education for themselves and their staff
If you want to learn more about top upper cervical practices I recommend picking up my book Upper Cervical Practice Mastery: Learn Success Secrets of the World’s Top Upper Cervical Doctors. So here are some questions to ask yourself about your own practice:

Is it time for you to add an associate?

If your practice is collecting $35,000 a month or more developing an associate program can help you help a lot more people in your community.

Is it time for you to hire more staff?

If your staff is stretched too thin and does not have the margin to help patients effectively then bringing on another staff member could make all the difference in giving you the capacity to help more people in your community.

Are you charging enough?

If your office visit average is below $60 then it may be time to raise your prices.

Are you using care plans?

94% of top upper cervical practices utilize care plans to help patients know what they can expect from their care through the different phases and also to give them affordable payment options. If you are not utilizing care plans this can make a tremendous difference for your practice.

Are you a cash practice?

Moving your practice to 100% cash could make a tremendous difference in the amount of time that your staff has to take care of patients and the overall environment of your practice.

Are you relying exclusively on results and referrals to grow your practice?

There are people in your community that will never know about your practice because they don’t have a personal connection to any of your current patients. Developing marketing strategies such as Internet marketing and professional referral strategies can make a tremendous difference in reaching different groups of people in your community who need your help. If you would like to learn more about our Internet marketing programs designed specifically for upper cervical practices please give us a call at 877-252-1230 and let’s talk about your practice. It’s time to bring upper cervical to the world!
About the Author: Dr. Bill Davis
Dr. Bill Davis is the Founder and CEO of His goal is to spread the word about the best-kept secret in health through Upper Cervical Specific Business and Marketing Solutions.
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