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The premier resource for hospital professionals from Relias Media, the trusted source for healthcare information and continuing education.

Trading dance and other art for doctor visits -- Hospital sets up art exchange

Hospitals need artists to brighten their décor and their patients’ outlook. Artists need healthcare services but often lack insurance and avoid getting services. Both these issues can be addressed through an art exchange. lincoln medical center

At Lincoln Medical Center in the Bronx, NY, eligible artists who are based in New York City and don’t have health insurance can exchange their creative services for comprehensive healthcare. The art exchange has many varied opportunities. For example, musicians can work with older adults, yoga instructors can train pregnant patients, and dancers can help teenagers tackle obesity. Eligible artists can exchange creative services for doctor visits, hospitalization, emergency care, medical and surgical procedures, prescription drugs, and diagnostic tests and screenings.

Artists call a toll-free number or send an email request to set up an enrollment interview. At the interview, artists can demonstrate their work. Afterward, they meet with a financial counselor to sign up for HHC Options. HHC Options is a financial assistance program that allows persons to pay for medical care on a sliding fee scale based on household income and family size. It assists uninsured New York City residents, those who are single or with dependents, who aren’t eligible for Medicaid because of their income or immigration status. The hospital keeps all information on immigration status, as well as income, strictly confidential. In fact, this information is boldfaced on the hospital web site so it isn’t missed.

Artists who enrolled in the program are scheduled to perform at different events or departments in the hospital. For each hour of artistic activity, 40 credits are added to the artist’s healthcare account. Forty credits equal $40. Credits are exchanged for an equal value of healthcare services in dollars. When artists need healthcare, the fee is charged to their Lincoln Art Exchange account.

The program is flexible: Artists can exchange services as long as there is a need or just a few times to help pay for healthcare. There is no minimum participation required. The end result: The hospital gets a dose of creativity, and artists get the healthcare services they need. Where can you get creative in creating win-win opportunities in your community?