Bartering for Health Care

Oct 11, 2011

Is it just me, or have you noticed more programs where you can barter art or manual labor in exchange for health care or dental work? I first read about this last year in DailyFinance, which outlined a program in which people could earn credits for each hour they devoted to helping the hospital, from yoga practitioners training breast-cancer patients in breathing exercises to photographers taking photos of babies to give to mothers as thank-yous for choosing their hospital. Just last week, The Wall Street Journal reported on the second annual O+ Festival happening In Kingston, NY, where 100 artists bartered works and performances for blood work and dental fillings. In Maine, people are doing yardwork to earn “time dollars” for doctor’s visits, as reported by NPR. And, this isn’t just an isolated phenomenon around health care but points to a broader movement that we call New Mutualism, with “all of us collaboratively building solutions to the problems we face,” as Christian articulated in a recent blog post. Have you bartered for health care? Some other product or service? (photo by Memorial Dentists, via Flickr)