Content starts here

The Takeaway: Hospital Lets Artists Paint, Perform to Pay Medical Bills


A Bronx hospital is launching a program that lets artistic patients knock $40 off their medical bills for every hour they spend providing some other "creative activity or service" at the hospital. The Lincoln Art Exchange, at the Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center, is essentially a bartering program where actors, musicians, dancers, writers and visual artists can trade their talents for medical care.

Not just anyone qualifies, though: To be eligible, you must make your living as an artist and lack health insurance. The program is modeled after a similar one launched at Brooklyn's Woodhull Hospital in 2005.

Artists can use health credits for doctor visits, prescription drugs, lab tests and more. The creative services they provide will include reading to patients, performing at special hospital events, creating murals and works of arts for hospital walls and "other events that will enhance the hospital environment and the patient and staff experience," according to a hospital press release.

Friday Quick Hits: 

  • Everybody knows this is nowhere. In a review of Neil Young's latest concert film (Neil Young Journeys), critic Stephen Whitty describes the documentary part of the film as "like driving around with a dull, albeit particularly scruffy uncle." Ouch. "The concert footage is better," he adds.

Photo: Dougal Waters/Getty Images

Search AARP Blogs