rcm glossary

National health service (Beveridge) model

National health service (Beveridge) model is a healthcare system where the government provides comprehensive medical services to all citizens, funded by taxes.

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What is the National Health Service (Beveridge) Model?

The National Health Service (NHS) model, also known as the Beveridge model, is a healthcare system that is based on the principles outlined by Sir William Beveridge in his 1942 report titled "Social Insurance and Allied Services." This model is named after Beveridge, who was a British economist and social reformer. The NHS model is a publicly funded healthcare system that provides comprehensive medical services to all residents of a country, regardless of their ability to pay.

The main objective of the NHS model is to ensure that healthcare services are accessible to all citizens, regardless of their socioeconomic status. It is based on the principle of social solidarity, where the entire population contributes to the funding of healthcare through taxes or other forms of mandatory contributions. In return, all individuals are entitled to receive medical care when needed, without facing financial barriers.

Key Features of the NHS (Beveridge) Model

The NHS model has several key features that distinguish it from other healthcare systems. These features include:

1. Universal Coverage: The NHS model provides healthcare coverage to all residents of a country, regardless of their age, income, or employment status. It aims to ensure that everyone has access to necessary medical services without financial hardship.

2. Publicly Funded: The NHS is funded through general taxation or other mandatory contributions from the population. The government is responsible for collecting these funds and allocating them to healthcare providers and facilities.

3. Comprehensive Services: The NHS model offers a wide range of medical services, including preventive care, primary care, hospital care, and specialized treatments. It aims to provide a comprehensive healthcare package that meets the needs of the entire population.

4. Free at the Point of Service: Under the NHS model, healthcare services are provided free of charge at the point of service. Patients do not have to pay out-of-pocket fees for consultations, treatments, or hospital stays. However, there may be charges for certain items such as prescription medications or dental care.

5. Government Control: The government plays a central role in the NHS model, as it is responsible for the overall management and regulation of the healthcare system. It sets healthcare policies, allocates resources, and oversees the delivery of services.

Difference between the NHS (Beveridge) Model and Other Healthcare Systems

While the NHS model shares some similarities with other healthcare systems, such as the single-payer model or socialized medicine, there are key differences that set it apart. Here are a few examples:

1. Single-Payer vs. Publicly Funded: The NHS model is a publicly funded system, where the government collects taxes or contributions to finance healthcare. In contrast, a single-payer system may involve a mix of public and private funding, with a single entity responsible for administering healthcare payments.

2. Socialized Medicine vs. Universal Coverage: Socialized medicine refers to a system where the government owns and operates healthcare facilities and employs healthcare professionals. The NHS model, on the other hand, focuses on universal coverage and accessibility rather than government ownership of healthcare providers.

3. Out-of-Pocket Payments: In some healthcare systems, individuals may be required to make out-of-pocket payments for certain services or treatments. However, under the NHS model, most services are provided free at the point of service, reducing financial barriers to care.

Examples of Countries with the NHS (Beveridge) Model

The NHS model has been implemented in several countries around the world, each with its own variations and adaptations. Some examples of countries that have adopted the NHS model include:

1. United Kingdom: The United Kingdom is the birthplace of the NHS model. The National Health Service was established in 1948 and provides comprehensive healthcare services to all residents of England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

2. Canada: While Canada does not have a pure NHS model, its healthcare system is often considered to be similar in many ways. The Canadian healthcare system is publicly funded, with universal coverage provided through a mix of provincial and federal funding.

3. Australia: Australia has a mixed healthcare system, but its Medicare program is based on the principles of the NHS model. Medicare provides universal coverage for essential medical services, and individuals can also choose to purchase private health insurance for additional coverage.

4. New Zealand: New Zealand's healthcare system is primarily funded through general taxation and provides universal coverage to all residents. The government plays a significant role in the delivery and regulation of healthcare services.


The National Health Service (Beveridge) model is a publicly funded healthcare system that aims to provide universal coverage and comprehensive medical services to all residents of a country. It is based on the principles outlined by Sir William Beveridge and has been implemented in various countries worldwide. The NHS model ensures that healthcare services are accessible to all individuals, regardless of their ability to pay, and is characterized by its universal coverage, publicly funded nature, and government control. By understanding the key features and differences of the NHS model, healthcare professionals and stakeholders can gain insights into different healthcare systems and their impact on revenue cycle management in the healthcare industry.

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