How do I decide what to pay for my sliding-scale acupuncture treatment?

Dollar bills of various amounts representing sliding-scale pricing for acupuncture at clinic in Bend, OR

Sliding-scale pricing is a key feature of the community acupuncture treatment model, but it’s most likely a different pricing system than you’re used to. While we advise you to pay whatever you can afford, you might want more guidance than that. Here are some things to consider when you’re deciding what to pay:

Rate how well your financial resources cover your basic needs. These include food, shelter, transportation, and healthcare.
1 – Not very well: You qualify for food stamps or have a tight budget for food. You rent a lower-end property or have unstable access to shelter. You do not have a vehicle or have limited access to a vehicle. You qualify for publicly-funded healthcare (Medicaid or OHP).
2 – Well enough: You have enough money to buy the food you need on a regular basis, but maybe just enough. You own or rent a decent property. You have daily reliable transportation. You have access to healthcare but might not be able to afford an out-of-pocket massage on a regular basis.
3 – Very well: You do not have to stress about having enough money to buy the food you need. You own or rent a higher-end property. You own or lease a vehicle. You have access to healthcare and might be able to afford an out-of-pocket massage on a regular basis or every now and then.

Rate how much expendable income you have. Having expendable income might mean you are able to go out to eat, go to the movies or a concert, go on vacation, buy new clothes or leisure items on a regular basis, etc.
1 – None or not very much
2 – A decent amount
3 – Plenty

Rate how much access you have to savings.
1 – None or not very much
2 – A decent amount
3 – Plenty

Tally your results to approximate where on our sliding scale you can afford to pay.
Mostly 1’s – You can afford to pay somewhere on the lower third of our sliding scale.
Mostly 2’s – You can afford to pay somewhere on the middle third of our sliding scale.
Mostly 3’s – You can afford to pay somewhere on the upper third of our sliding scale.

Adapted from a framework created by Alexis J. Cunningfolk with additions by Britt Hawthorne.