The United States spends $8,233 per year on each person for healthcare. This number is two and a half times more than what other developed counties such as the United Kingdom, France and Sweden spend on healthcare per person, each year (Kane, 2012). This accounts for 17.6% of the GDP in 2010 and could increase to 19.6% by 2021 if healthcare spending does not change (The Commonwealth Fund, 2012). In comparison, the UK spends $3,433 on each person for healthcare, which is 9.6% of the counties’ GDP (Kane, 2012). The big question here is that, if the cost is twice as high as other developed countries, is the quality of care that much better as well? One measure of quality is life expectancy. Babies born in the United States have a shorter life expectancy at birth in comparison to other developed counties (Berenson & Docteur, 2009). Illnesses that could be treated or prevented are the highest cause of death amongst the United States, when compared to other developed counties (Berenson & Docteur, 2009). Obesity rates, diabetes and heart disease have been the highest in the US, in comparison to other developed nations (Institute of Medicine, 2013). Socioeconomic factors as well as behavioral aspects contribute to a largely unhealthily population. Preventative care amongst American women is high, as studies show that mammography rates are 61% versus 55% of the OECD average and 84% of women have had pap smears (Berenson & Docteur, 2009). Cancer treatment and survival rates are at the highest for breast, colon, lung, rectum and prostate in the United States (Berenson & Docteur, 2009).
In the UK, GPs are paid through capitation payments which are payments based on the number of patients on their lists. Specialists and physicians that work in hospitals are paid salaries through the NHS. In the US, physicians are paid through capitation rate contracts and negotiated fees paid through insurance companies. The UK started a pay for performance program in 2004 that rewarded bonuses to physicians who scored well in quality measures. However, many physicians have scored well and cost the NHS more money than they