How Much? How Often? 5/5 (37)

Today’s blog entry is really more of a mini-survey. Let me explain.

As professionals, we all tend to gauge our equipment investments based on the potential return on those investment. We buy new equipment, take training courses, select our office location and furnishings, and pretty much make most business decisions based on the bottom line. And this is as it should be. Can I make more money if I do, or learn, or purchase the item in question?

Now, I know there are many (if not most!) among us who entered the healing arts for very altruistic reasons. We genuinely love others and want to help them–and sometimes we even tend to bristle at the thought of asking for payment in return. The most extreme examples I’ve seen are those who refuse to name any price at all for the services they provide, but rather collect “donations” of whatever the patient feels the services are worth. (And from what I’ve seen, they struggle mightily to make ends meet.)

But the reality of the situation is that we can’t help anyone if we can’t stay in business. An acupuncture business is still a business, and there must be more coming in than there is going out, or the business will cease to exist and nobody will be helped. Furthermore, I really believe patients NEED to pay for the services they receive so they are emotionally and financially invested in a good outcome. Patients don’t tend to value “free” services the same way they value services that cost a reasonable fee.

I think it’s wonderful that it’s possible to make a living while doing something we love, and helping others at the same time. I hope you feel the same way.

So in the spirit of helping each other by sharing information, here are 2 questions I’d like you to answer:

1. How much do you charge for an AcuGraph exam?

2. How often do you perform the exam?

I get asked these two questions by nearly every new AcuGraph purchaser–and they’re good questions.

I’ll start the ball rolling by sharing my own information: I sold my practice 2 years ago, but when I was practicing I charged $60 for a treatment, which included the AcuGraph exam. I ran a straight cash practice only, and accepted no insurance whatsoever. I generally graphed on every visit, though sometimes I would graph every other visit. I’ll add that, despite not accepting any insurance, I had a waiting list practice and was very busy and happy.

So what about you? How much and how often?

Hit the “Add Comment” button and let us all know.

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Dr. Adrian Larsen

Adrian P. Larsen, D.C., F.A.S.A., C.Ac. Dr. Larsen is President of Miridia Technology Inc., and one of the developers of the AcuGraph Digital Meridian Imaging system. He currently divides his time between research, product development, and teaching. Dr. Larsen also holds certifications in Applied Kinesiology and CPK, and has specialized training in SOT and craniopathy. He, his wife, and 7 children reside in Meridian, Idaho.

32 Replies to “How Much? How Often?

  1. I don’t do a lot of grafting but when I do a followup scan will be a week to ten days at a cost of $55.00.

  2. I graph every 4 treatments. I feel that this gives the patient incentive to stay the course to “see” their progress. It’s kinda funny really to see patients confidence grow when they can see the graphic improvement. Feeling better must be to subjective.

  3. In India I charge $10/- only for first graph and $6/- for subsequent graphs.

    Usually I take first three graphs at an interval of 15 days untill I diagnose the disorder and thereafter The graph is taken at an interval of 1 to 3 mobths depending upon patient’s response to the treatment.

  4. I charge $50 for the initial Acugraph exam and $30 for re-exams which I do every 12th visit.

  5. I don’t always do the acugraph; if I charge it’s around 20 or I just include it in the treatment. I tend to use laser when balancing; being more convenient than needles it will produce the same results most of the time. I have a question: when you were practicing, were you also adjusting on every visit, or was your practice limited to acupuncture only. If you adjusted as well as performed acupuncture did you have a cash plan for the adj. and acu. tx?

    1. David,

      I actually charged by the visit, and included whatever was indicated, be it acupuncture, adjustment, nutrition, etc. The $60 fee simply covered the appointment. Made it simple and predictable for the patients.

  6. I charge by the visit $75 this includes whatever is needed from copping to acupuncture. I always do acugraph by each visit. If more treatments are needed I sometimes adjust the price depending if it is a fast follow up. I am located in Norway.

  7. I usually charging twenty two dollar for first sitting that includes graphs and acupunture treatments, special yogic exercises , etc., thereafter i charge 3 dollar in every visit includes everything, normally patient will be allright in ten to fifteen sittings

  8. I myself always include DMI (Digital Meridian Imaging) as starter in longterm treatment in order to be able follow up progress or to detect tendencies and to make all following therapeutical treatment work better, cause only a balanced body will respond positive to treatments. In Sweden I charge per treatment about 500 Swedish Crowns, incl. DMI, which means about 60-70 USD. I treat with acupuncture (laser) LLLT, PMFT, Thai-Yogic Massage and use ayurvedic and homeopathic medicine

  9. I use the AcuGraph on every single visit. I combine the findings with my traditional TCM evaluation and feel that this gives me the best treatment strategy. It takes so little time and my patients love to see the results. I also feel it keeps them involved. In addition, behind the scenes, the acugraph keeps me from becoming complacent with my patients as sometimes I really have to work hard to figure out what the graph is saying verses my TCM findings. Other times it’s as plain as day.

    My fees for the Acugraph are wrapped into my regular appointment fee, no extra charge. I have posted an Acugraph only fee of $50. I have only had two people come to me for an Acugraph only session and both ended up with needles in them after seeing the results of the graph, so the fee was absorbed into a first time acupuncture visit fee.

    It is simply a great tool!

  10. I charge by the visit. My fee is $70 all inclusive. I do not test at every visit especially for my cancer patients. The last thing I want to do is upset someone who presents with a critical condition. It is interesting to listen to the response of patients who come from other acupuncturists that charge by modality. Most people do not care for that type of practitioner…would you? Keep it simple and always ask yourself how much you would pay and then go visit a practitioner and reach into your pocket to pay his or her fees. Our economy is not conducive to making large sums of money but if we continue to press forward with good intentions, our time will come.

  11. I charge $75.00 for there additional evaluation and $40.00 for each subsequent AcuGraph. I charge $50.00 for needle treatments & $60.00 if we use electrical stimulation with the needles. I charge $20.00 for laser or microcurrent non-needle treatments.

  12. I charge $35.00 for acugraph initial exam. I re-graph after 4-6 sessions @ $55.00 per acu session OR if they had a change in S.T.I.M. then I re-eval before moving forward. (i.e. had a lady who had MVA after 2nd session, I re-graphed @ no charge for acupuncture but treated her also with chiropractic.)

  13. ichargefor the first visit 20 dollar that include threatment and acugraph Ido acugrgh each 4¡5 visit it depend on the pacient My problems are to interpreting the gragh because sometime it do note go alone the tcm diagnosis.

  14. First, thank you for this blog, and the development of the Acugraph system, Adrian. Next, my question:

    What frequency of treatments do you use to perform meridian balancing? I understand that after a scan and treatment the channels will appear unstable for a short period of time. The body also needs time to adjust itself, as well as obvious structural problems that may need to be addressed. I guess my question is actually: in your experience, what type of treatment schedule did you find most effective? I am big on homework for my patients, but also want to achieve the best results possible from my end.

    1. Great Question,

      I find that 2-3 times per week is most effective at the start. I then seek to lower the frequency to 1-2 times per week as soon as the graph is about 50% improved. Of course all patients are different, and some will respond better than others. I definitely think homework is beneficial and speeds up progress. Always allow at least 24 hours after a treatment before performing another graph. 48 hours is even better.

  15. Great comments here. When I recommend practitioners to use the AcuGraph, I always recommend that they make the scan part of a re-exam, which is typically about every 10-12 visits.

    The reason for this frequency is because I want there to be time for a cumulative effect of multiple treatments before a re-exam to see progress.

    As I chinese medicine practitioner, I personally don’t want the patients to focus on their symptoms every visit (this is negative thinking). Clearly you want symptoms to improve but the graph and other evaluations take place during re exam times.

  16. graphing like any other practice should be based upon clinical need very severe patients may need daily graphing while wellness patients may only need them 3or 4 times a year
    fee’s should be based upon not only striving but thriving in practice
    this is a method some dentist have taught me years ago
    do the math to figure out what you need to get per visit
    add all your fixed office and home expenses per month
    divide by the average number of office visits
    per month than multiply this by 3.5 and this shold give you the minimum amount you should get on each office visit
    ie. home and office $10,000 per month dived by 250 office visits =$40.00 x 3.5 =$140.00 per visit
    remember not all patients pay you,your payments may be less than you charge,uncle sam wants more than his share and you deserve to make a good living
    if this charge is too high you need to 1,decrease expenses,2.increase patient visits, both

  17. The graph is $80 fee each time I graph. One on initial visit and then at the 8th or 10th visit of that series of visits. Then when they come in for rechecks, we graph again and begin treatment as needed.

  18. Several years ago, when I first got the Acugraph, I charged 50 for the first, and 30 for the rest. Now, I do acupuncture as a cash only treatment for a flat fee of $50/ session, which lasts about 20-25 minutes. Sometimes I use the Acugraph, and sometimes I don’t. If I start with it, I usually use it every treatment. If I feel I need to go with an 8 principle approach, I don’t even use the program.

  19. I have already asked this question before, and I have not yet received a reply to my question.

    1- can I do oricular therapy with the Acugraph3?

    2- Can I use another herbal product, in which I am a distributor. I do not intend marketting two TCM products. People would mistrust me.

    1. 1. AcuGraph 3 provides auricular treatment recommendations, but it does not provide the actual treatment. You can treat the recommended auricular points with whatever modality you prefer.

      2. Yes, you can use another herbal product. If you carry a brand that offers the same classical formulas, you can use that brand. Or you can make custom entries for the formulas you prefer to use. AcuGraph will then save and use those custom recommendations.

      Best regards,

      Dr. Larsen

  20. Dear Adrian,
    I graph nearly every consultation. I only use the laserpen with good satisfaction. A genuine consultation fee is 60 Euro included laser and SER treatment. As Somato Emotional Release Therapist the most treatments are psychosomatic and conditional behavior. How can I interprete the results of the AcuGraph the most benificial in his cases?

    1. The AcuGraph information report gives a good starting point for emotional and psychological factors affecting the graph. You can build on this information with your experience.

  21. Dr. Chidiak,
    Yes you can do Auriculotherapy with the acugraph. You graph them and then in the balancing tab it will have acupuncture points, auricular points, herbal therapies, as well as back shu points and vertebrae to stimulate incorporating the AK technique somewhat. Hope this helps.

  22. In India , I charge USD 10/- per graph for first graph and USD 6/- for subsequent graphs. I normaly take graph after 15 days of first round of treatment and then followed by 2/3 months if required

So, what do you think about it?