Tagged With healthcare

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Every year at the end of March and early in April, the 11 million Australians who have private health insurance receive notification that premiums are increasing.

Premiums will increase by an average of 3.95% from April 1 and will vary with the insurer and the product. The increase is lower than previous years but still higher than any wage growth, leaving consumers wondering if they should give it up or downgrade to save money.

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After 900 failed attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act (that number may be a little off, it's been a long year), US President Trump took two actions yesterday that could destroy insurance markets. US citizens will still be able to buy an "Obamacare" plan for next year and their current insurance will still work. But this portends some very bad news.

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The local healthcare sector has a reputation for spending big on some types of innovation but lagging when it comes to back-end systems and other applications. Electronic record keeping is gaining ground but paper and fax machines remain popular. However, according to a study by analysts Technavio, the global healthcare cloud computing market will grow at a compound annual growth rate of over 20% over the next four years.

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At a recent event, a number of experts contributed to a panel discussion on how technology is changing how health care is being delivered to our aging population. And while technology offers lots of opportunities, it comes with many challenges. The services needed by older people and their carers are delivered by many different providers, funded under different state and federal models with myriad regulatory obligations. And as our population ages the need for high quality services to be delivered efficiently is growing. Technology can help but there are many challenges.

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If you're shopping for a new pair of eyeglasses, you may get sticker shock when you pick up a pair of frames at your local optician. It certainly doesn't help that vision insurance doesn't always cover glasses -- and when it does, it may not cover the whole cost. Another option is to take your shopping to the internet, where you'll find a better selection and lower prices.

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Doctor's visits can be awkward, especially when getting the care you need requires divulging details about your sex life. Everybody needs a doctor they can trust, but that's especially important if you're likely to show up with injuries that may be hard to explain.

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I wasn't long into my tenure at Kotaku Australia; a few months, perhaps. It was the job I'd been working towards since primary school. And yet after the pieces had finally begun to fall into place, I found myself standing on a median strip, in the middle of a six-lane highway, one of the busiest in New South Wales.

I found myself standing there, wondering what would happen if I took a step forward into the path of the semi trailer passing by.

Obviously, RUOK Day is meant for people like me. Thing is, it's become the one day of the year I hate more than most.

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Avoiding needed medical care is generally a bad idea, reserved for people who are either lazy, scared or trying to save money. But too much medical care has its own risks. It can be smart to avoid certain tests or treatments and opt for second opinions instead of more visits, and a good provider can help you make that decision thoughtfully.