Bartering for better health: yardwork for treatment

Posted Sept. 26, 2011, at 8:08 a.m.
Last modified Sept. 26, 2011, at 9:45 a.m.

National Public Radio reports on a Falmouth health care practice that allows low-income patients to pay their bills with community service or other swaps.

“Tom Dahlborg, the executive director of True North, used to work in Medicaid, where he thought the patients weren’t getting enough from their health care.

“People would come in for care and they would be like, ‘OK, give me what you can, that’s fine,’ and they really weren’t engaged in it,” Dahlborg says. “It was almost like a guilt, like, ‘Oh, it’s free care, so I don’t really deserve that much anyways.’ “

But he says patients at True North who pay with time dollars are fully engaged.

The Hour Exchange allows individuals, organizations and businesses to help each other meet their needs cash-free in one-to-one exchanges and group projects.

“We’ll hear from a landscaper [who] will say, ‘I mowed five lawns in the last month so I could bring my children in to see your pediatric nurse practitioner. This darn well better be a good visit,’ ” Dahlborg says.

Read the full story here.

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