What is a Sliding-Scale?
A sliding-scale is a payment system focused on inclusivity and social financial awareness. Instead of there being one set fee linked to the service, there is a range of payment options to choose from.
The aim of a sliding-scale is to help make a service or event more affordable to more people.
Sliding-scales are designed to be approached with a MIYHLIYD mindset: more if you have, less if you don’t. They ask us to take a minute and think to ourselves: what are my financial resources at the moment? How stressed or pressed am I in relation to money right now? What might other people’s experiences be?
At OCA, our sliding-scale is currently set at $20-$40 with the $20-$24 range reserved for low income members of our community and those managing financial limitations in their lives. A sliding-scale allows its users to pay any amount on the scale. The most-utilized payments are multiples of five, of course ($30, $25, $20, $40), but you can choose to pay $29 or $39, $22 or $34. The scale is meant to be flexible and scalable.
A misconception we'd like to clarify: the top of our sliding-scale is not meant to be parallel to the highest level of wealth in our society. Private acupuncture treatments range from $90-$120 and sometimes even more! Some community acupuncture clinics have scales ranging from $30-$70. We choose to keep our rates as affordable as they are because we know that acupuncture care requires a course of treatment for the healing to take root. Our sliding-scale is designed not only to be inclusive but also to help people come in regularly and/or frequently so they can get better.
We appreciate that a reflective-based sliding-scale payment system is new for many of our community. To help, we’ve put together a question-based financial resources inventory to get you thinking: