In contrast, Great Britain offers universal coverage in a government-run healthcare solution called the National Health Services (NHS). Though some may view this government involvement as socialized medicine, Britain’s model has made them a leader in preventative medicine. The public system financing is generated by tax revenues, including employment- related insurance contributions, so they own the hospitals. The revenue helps to pay the doctors who are salaried government employees. The NHS covers everybody, including children in low- income families, the retired, and the unemployed. There are no medical bills, insurance premium, or a copay. (Reid & Palfreman, 2008). Yet, Britain spends less per capita than the United States and still has better health statistics, a lower infant mortality rate, and a longer life expectancy rate. A2a). Under the Affordable Care Act, all healthcare providers are expected to cover prescription drugs. According to Faststats (2017), physicians ordered 2.8 billion drugs in in 2013. The most frequently prescribed drugs included analgesics, antidepressants, and antihyperlipidemic agents. For individuals who are covered through Medicare, prescriptions drugs are offered through a supplemental program. For private insurance plans, the cost for prescription drugs vary significantly. In more recent years, the health expenditure for prescription drugs has decreased due to patients opting for a generic brand over a name brand. In 2015, 10.1% of the national health expenditure was used for prescription drugs. (National Center for Health Statistics, 2016).
In Great Britain, the NHS has taken steps to expand their coverage to include inpatient and outpatient drugs. The NHS Constitution states that, “patients have a right to drugs or treatment approved in technology appraisals.” (Thorlby & Arora, 2014). However, the Department of Health requires that copays must be paid for outpatient prescription medication. The copays are roughly $12.00. Patients that are prescribed medication in a hospital are free. (Thorlby & Arora, 2014). NHS has drug cost-sharing exemptions for new mothers, pregnant women, the elderly, low-income, children, and the disabled. A2b). Depending on the type of insurance plan you have, you can see a specialist directly or through your general practitioner. Patients who have a Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) plan are not required to get a referral from a general practitioner before seeing a specialist. For Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) plans, you are required to get a referral before seeing a specialist. However, some services, like mammograms, do not need a referral.
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- Spring '17