Deciding how much to pay on a sliding scale at Six Degrees
Welcome to our creative and engaged economic system!
When you pay your fee on a sliding scale at Six Degrees you are a part of a community of people who are creating systems and structures to make services, arts and goods more accessible to more people. You are also engaging with your own power (no matter how much money you have) and what your money can do for you, your health and your community.
When you pay for treatments at Six Degrees we ask you to consider how much you can pay for your treatment. You don’t have to formulate a budget every time you come in, but after your initial consultation, you decide on your base amount and then we ask you to pay as much as you can each time you come. Your Base Amount is the amount you pay in consideration of how the many aspects of your financial situation fits into the treatment plan we suggest.
Consider paying the lower end of the scale if you:
• are supporting children or have other dependents
• have significant debt
• have medical expenses not covered by insurance
• have ongoing health concerns
• receive social assistance
• have immigration-related expenses
• are an elder with limited financial support
• are an unpaid community organizer and have challenges making ends meet
• are someone who has been denied work due to incarceration history
Consider paying more on the scale if you:
• own the home you live in
• have investments, retirement accounts, or inherited money
• travel recreationally
• have access to family money and resources in times of need
• have insurance benefits
• work part time by choice
• have a relatively high degree of earning power due to level of education (or gender and racial privilege, class background, etc.) Even if you are not currently exercising your earning power, we ask you to recognize this as a choice
For Six Degrees to be a sustainable Health Centre, we need most people to pay in the mid range. We are aware that everyone’s financial situation is unique – your situation might be a combination of many things listed above. We encourage you to use this as a reference in your decision making process.
INCOME-BASED SLIDING SCALE
For Community Acupuncture
|Net Annual Household Income
$120K and above
|Suggested Rate Per Treatment
$70 – 75
$63 – 70
$56 – 63
$49 – 56
$43 – 49
$36 – 43
$30 – 36
As with all businesses Six Degrees experiences inflation every year. We realize that to support our long term sustainability we need to explain more about how to use the sliding scale now because we are at a point where we need all the clients of Six Degrees to consider paying more. We want you to know more about how this sliding scale works so that you can make an informed decision. We want you to understand where your money goes and how what you pay supports Six Degrees’ work. We have built Six Degrees on a platform that holds financial accessibility as integral to successful medicine, successful, primarily, to the practice of sustainable independent Medicine itself. For Six Degrees to be sustainable we are asking you to consider raising your rate, as often as you can.
The sliding scale for Community Acupuncture as of June 2016 is $30-75 per treatment. The higher end reflects the actual value of a Community Acupuncture session at Six Degrees. Both community and private services include a sliding scale. We are also adding a sliding scale to the rental fees practitioners pay to share space.
We hope that you learn more about the impact of your dollar, the energy behind your dollar and how integral each person is to the smooth operation of Six Degrees. If you look through this info and determine that you can afford to pay more, that is important. In the same vein, if you determine you cannot afford to pay more that is important too. This is about sustainability and unlocking the shame that gets associated with having less money. We hope that each person feels empowered in their healing, including what they pay for it. Knowing that you are paying as much as you can, can align us, not by the money we have but by the offers we can give each other with the money we have.
Six Degrees practices Community Acupuncture in a unique way. We offer personalized treatments in a community setting. This is based on the common Community Acupuncture model, but differs in how we practice. At Six Degrees we see up to 4 people per hour for follow up treatments, we take more time with each person and offer deep listening, unique treatment plans, suggestions on food and lifestyle impacts and hold space for the truth of how the layers of dominant society impact our overall health.
We aim to practice integrative and intersectional medicine, and to do this we have the scale we have to support the practice that Six Degrees does. We also share space with similarly valued practitioners and offer private sessions with sliding scale options as well. We are the first community acupuncture clinic in Canada, and, so far as we know, we are a unique multi-disciplinary clinic world wide.
In 2015, we did about 4000 community acupuncture treatments. Amazing, right? What an incredible truth it is that Acupuncture can be that helpful, powerful and healing and that by using a community model we can offer that many treatments to so many people!
So, with those 4000 treatments if everyone had an extra dollar (and, for real, not everyone does, but lots of folks do, some even have two) we would have collectively offered an extra $4000 to Six Degrees. Where would that money go? We could have paid staff coordinators more and be in a better position to meet annual increases in rent and other overhead costs. That’s how an extra dollar creates greater sustainability for this healing space at Six Degrees health.
You see, while Six Degrees looks a lot like a community health center or a co-op we function as a small business using a sliding scale system in a fixed rate empire. We do not receive funding from any grant, Ministry of Health or private investors. Instead, we ask you to pay as much as you can and then we share that fee across all the expenses. Practitioners each receive a percentage of the treatment fee with the other portion going to overall expenses. That is how each and every person gets paid, the rent gets sent and the bills get filled.
So please, consider how much you can afford to give each time you receive a treatment at Six Degrees :)