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Newborns Applying bundled payments to maternity has been challenging; maternity care providers, which include doctors and midwives, and hospitals have never shared payments and focus on different quality measures. (Photo: Shutterstock)

The U.S. health care system is in flux. Consumers don’t know if their doctor is covered. They don’t know if their facility is covered. More and more, they are becoming skeptical about the quality of their care. At the same time, we’re asking doctors and nurses to invest time in using technology to serve patients so they can see more of them. They now have the responsibility of updating charts using electronic health records. They must deliver high-value care to get reimbursed.

It’s a new model, with so much responsibility falling on doctors and patients. There is one more constituent who is also in this mix of confusion: employers. They are stuck in the middle paying for much of it, and while their costs are rising many are passing those, too, along to patients. Just as doctors are facing reimbursement issues, employees/patients are flipping part of their employer’s rising bill. Welcome to consumerized health care.

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