The Art of Healthcare

— Andy Wade —

hospital.artChristine put me on to this news piece (below) about how art is being used creatively as a means of barter for healthcare. Both my children have spent multiple hours in hospitals for various surgeries and I have to say, the artistic creativity in the hallways and waiting rooms was often whimsical and uplifting during some rather stressful times.

Lincoln Hospital in the Bronx, New York started a new program back in 2012 that allows artists to trade their talents for health care. According to their website:

Once enrolled in the program, you are scheduled to perform at different events and/or departments in the hospital. For each hour of artistic activity, 40 credits are added to your healthcare account. 40 credits = $40.00. Credits are exchanged for an equal value of healthcare services in dollars. When you need healthcare, the fee is charged to your Lincoln Art Exchange account.

And the really cool thing is that this is not limited to painting, but can be just about any form of art, often provided to other patients so that your art become both an avenue to help cover your own healthcare cost while also becoming a source of healing for others.

This outside-the-box thinking becomes a win-win-win situation. I wonder where else ideas like this could be applied?

What are your thoughts?

HHC Options is a financial assistance program that allows you to pay for medical care on a sliding fee scale based on household income and family size. It is designed to assist uninsured NYC residents, either single or with dependents, who are not eligible for Medicaid because of their income or immigration status.

For more information on HHC Options visit: www.nyc.gov/html/hhc/html/access/hhc_options.shtml.