Medical clinic allows patients to barter for care - KAIT-Jonesboro, AR-News, weather, sports

Medical clinic allows patients to barter for care

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By Brandi Hodges - bio | email

BONO, AR (KAIT) –Do you need to go to the doctor but don't have insurance or the money to pay?  One doctor is making things easier for those in need of medical care.  Dr. John House takes canned produce, manual labor, and even some live animals!  It's a practice many of us aren't familiar with, but it is bringing in patients!

"The first week we got five chickens, we got a turkey," said Dr. House.

It is modern day medicine using an older type of payment system.

"I'm looking forward to lots of interesting things that people want to barter," said Dr. House.

"That you can take something that you made and trade it for medical care is just mind blowing," said Patient Stacey Quayle.

Quayle is a pastry chef who owns her own business.  She trades her baked goods for doctor visits for herself and her three children.

"There are probably times that I would just not go to the doctor that I would not go to the doctor for me but with this barter clinic I can," said Quayle.

Dr. House opened his office in Bono in August.

"We kept getting so many people that would come in and not have any insurance, they've lost their job," said Dr. House.

In many cases, patients had not been to the doctor in years.

"They need to have good health care.  They need to get their insulin filled and they need to have their blood pressure checked," said Dr. House.

Dr. House said he is only taking locally made items.

"I'm not running a pawn shop so I'm not looking for that.  Definitely don't put off getting health care because you can't afford it," said Dr. House.

One of the employees at the clinic will look at the merchandise and assign a "fair market value".  If the product is something you make and sell you can assign your own price.  You'll be given a receipt for your "bartered" product and that's how much health care you can pay for.

"This is kind of saying, ‘Let's go back to the way we used to do things where local people made things local and traded locally'," said Dr. House.

Quayle said bartering with her doctor makes her feel like he cares more for her and for her family.

"It's a great feeling to know if you need to go to the doctor you can," said Quayle.

The Bono Barter Clinic inside Dr. House's practice is only available on Thursdays.  Lab tests are done at a reduced price and the clinic visit is lowered to $45.

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