Doubt was cast on the legitimacy of using barter for health care services on April 21, when Republican Senate candidate Sue Lowden commented that in the "olden days" people paid doctors with "a chicken" or other goods. BizXchange, a barter exchange company with offices in Seattle, San Francisco and Dubai, has been offering its more than 2,000 members health care services via barter for the last eight years. Members have spent nearly $4 million on health care related services since BizX was founded in 2002.
“We are facilitating over $5 million a month in B2B barter transactions between the members, including the health care providers, which results in an equal amount of cash savings to their bottom lines”
"Bartering for health care is more common than people may think and is a practice that is thriving in organized business-to-business trade exchanges," said Bob Bagga, CEO and Founder of BizXchange. "None of the doctors we do business with have traded their services for chickens or other livestock, but they do accept BizX Trade Dollars offered through our B2B barter network."
Unlike one-to-one transactions that occur with direct barter, BizXchange members accept BizX Trade Dollars for payment when they make a sale. Members are free to purchase products or services from any other member within the BizX network—they do not have to accept each other's merchandise directly.
Just like the other companies and organizations in the BizX network, health care providers can use BizX dollars, an IRS compliant currency, to offset the cash outlay of everyday business expenses such as printing, advertising, facility maintenance, along with many other products and services that are required to run their business. "We are facilitating over $5 million a month in B2B barter transactions between the members, including the health care providers, which results in an equal amount of cash savings to their bottom lines," Bagga added.
On the other side of the transaction, those who purchase health care services through the barter exchange are saving cash. The benefit to these companies is that by using barter through BizXchange, it becomes possible to offer health care to employees and their families without spending cash.
"BizX Members are using their BizX dollars to allow their employees to come in to have dental care done," BizX Member Vicki Fidler, DDS said. "And as an employer I know that health care costs are very high and sometimes offering dental insurance can be a bit cost prohibitive. BizX allows employers to give their employees that benefit but in a different way. This is a win-win for everybody."
Within the BizX network, health care service providers include dentists, vision care specialists, chiropractors, physical therapists and plastic surgeons. The BizX network also includes a membership-based health care provider, QLiance Medical Group, that offers medical coverage for primary and preventive care, chronic disease management and minor urgent care to companies and individuals.
Bartering chickens for health care is a far-fetched idea today, but finding a medical or dental provider who is a member of a barter network is not.