This is actually one of the coolest barter deals I’ve read about yet: True North Health Center of Falmouth, ME has begun to utilize The Portland Hour Exchange Program, allowing low-income patients to earn time dollars that provide them with a free visit to their doctor.
Much like a traditional barter system, the patients offer their services through the Hour Exchange Program, earning time dollar credits depending on the length of time they spend actually providing the services. Doctors are able to cash in on the time credits by turning around and receiving a free service from anyone participating in the Hour Exchange Program.
The system works very well for low-income patients, creating an affordable way to receive medical services. It also allows them to bypass to all the red tape that is often associated with Medicaid programs. The downside to the barter model is, while there are plenty of patients willing to participate, there are not as many doctors who are willing to take the chance on going outside of the current health care system.
But who knows, in the future we may see the rise of bartering for health care as bartering becomes more and more commonplace.
(Photo by meddygarnet)