The discussion below is only for the patients who have NO acupuncture benefits. If the patients have acupuncture coverage, please read other information in our blogs regarding to the insurance issues.
Different in answers.
When some patients come, they hope we could give them a very low price for acupuncture–if their insurance plan does not cover the acupuncture. They actually have no idea about how much acupuncture price should be.
How much? around $40-50?—acutually, their expectation is, the acupuncture self-pay price is just a little bit higher than or close to the copayment (for example $20-35) in their insurance plan for other medical specialties when they have NO acupuncture coverage in their insurance.
In current market, the average price or cost for human patients in Washington DC/ Northern Virginia is around $65-110 (do you know how much-if your pets,dog or cat, need to do acupuncture? the Vet-doctors’ fee schedule is–the first session $250, next $125. Much higher than human patients’ payment for acupuncture services). Some acupuncturises may charge $50-60, some may charge more than $100. Some also charge initial visit in additional,$40 -100(or more) because the examination/evaluation and paper works. Some give patients who have no acupuncture coverage in insurance or senior an additional discount. Some do not. Some offer a free initial visit.
Considering the price, we should think of:
(1) the actual cost in conventional medicine; for example, the treatment for low back pain, how much for the overall price for an operation/surgery? how much for the overall cost of physical therapy? or how much for the overall cost of Chiropractic treatment?
If we consider the cost/effectiveness ratio, acupuncture overall value actually very high. It means you pay less and get a good result, with less side effect too. That means acupuncture therapy is less expensive one. But when patient considers their self-payment, they may feel it is high, that is true—if insurance could cover, patients only need to pay the deductible, and copay. i.e. patient think it is high, it is higher than the copayment, but it is much lower than the actual cost in conventional therapies.
(2) the provider’s condition; if we consider the provider’s costs in training, getting experience, the high level / better provider may have better result, or say, patient might see the effectiveness earlier. So, paying a little bit more to get a better result is not a bad idea. In a overall view, patient maybe still save money.
(3) see how many therapies, time or efforts the provider using for patient; if the provider used acupuncture alone 20 mintues for you and charged $80-90, it may be a little bit high; if use 40-60 minutes, it is valuable;
If the provider uses comprehensive therapies, such acupuncture with electrical therapy, infarared, cupping, tuina, etc., which would be very valuable and patient may see the effectiveness much earlier.
The price should reflect the value– the technology, training and experience level, treatment time, effectiveness, and other costs, such as office running cost, etc.